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I Overcame the Fear of Quitting

Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 1
No one wants to be a quitter. Colloquially, the term is practically synonymous with being a loser and lacking willpower. This negative connotation has accumulated over years of parents, teachers and coaches constantly pushing you to try your best – “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” The stigma surrounding the word is that quitters are weak – and that to be successful, one needs to persevere through whatever obstacles or challenges he or she meets. But is this really the best case? This was the dilemma I faced as I entered my junior year of high school.
I knew that this year would be a difficult one, chock full of AP classes, SATs, and pre college madness. However, at the same time, I was reluctant to give up any extracurriculars I was participating in. I felt that by giving up, I would not only lose an opportunity that I had worked so hard for, but I would lose the friendships and connections associated with it. I would feel weak, both in the eyes of my peers and myself, because I was stuck under the impression that if I tried hard enough, any extra work was conquerable and that it all came down to a test of willpower. I convinced myself that I would definitely be able to handle all my activities, because I didn’t want to become a “quitter” – I would just work harder and more efficiently.

It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I was not as invincible as I thought I was. I sat myself down and forced myself to consider exactly why I wanted to stay in those activities, and I realized that that it was not so much for myself – I was not especially passionate about either activity - but more that I liked the idea of participating in them. I liked the people and friends associated with them – but not the endeavor itself. It was then that I made my decision, by myself and without influence from parents or peers. In my junior year, I quit cross country and cello.
Quitting is not necessarily a bad thing. For me, it entailed learning more about myself – my limits, my strengths, and what I really wanted to achieve in life. I did not want to spend every day of junior year staying up til 3 in the morning, struggling under the burden of responsibilities that I was “so sure” I could handle. I was forced to be realistic with myself - to realize that time to relax is not an option but a necessity to staying healthy and happy. “Quitting” my extracurriculars gave me time to improve upon the things that I felt I truly excelled in, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am not weak; rather, by quitting, I have given myself the opportunity to become stronger.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Overcoming Challenges writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 7:07:31 PM
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