A Failure I Am Not

Stephanie - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on December 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believed this year to be a year of disappointments.

In May, I auditioned for the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra. I practiced so much that I got blisters and for a while it was painful to play. I was so incredibly nervous on the day of the audition but I believed that I had done well. Not my best but definitely not my worst. Then I received the shocking letter that told me that I did not even pass the preliminary round. Every one of my friends who had tried out had gotten in, every one except for me.

In November, I tried out for the All-Suburban Orchestra. I had gotten in every year since sixth grade. After not getting into the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra, I thought I could at least count on getting into this one. Same as before, I tried hard and practiced for hours and hours. Again I thought I did fine at my audition but everyone in my section in the orchestra class who had tried out had gotten in, everyone except for me.

The week after the All-Suburban Orchestra audition, I had a state piano competition. I put off everything else and concentrated on piano. Even when I was at school, away from my piano, the piano music was running through my head. I felt pretty good about how I did but I didn’t even get honorable mention. My friend who had gotten into the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra and the All-Suburban Orchestra had gotten first place.

It hurt so much to work so hard for something and then be disappointed. I felt like such a failure. Everyone around me was getting better and moving forward while I was going backwards. I was so discouraged that I almost gave up on even trying out for the All State Orchestra. If I couldn’t get into the All Suburban Orchestra how could I even dream of getting into the All State Orchestra? One good friend encouraged me to at least try and gave me the motivation to audition once more.

I was determined to get into this orchestra but I also had my doubts. I would think about the disappointments of the past year and would be ready to give up. However I knew that I should at least try. Finally, I was rewarded. Not only did I get into the All State Orchestra, but I got into the first violin section, while all the friends who had gotten into the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra and/or the All-Suburban orchestra either didn’t even get in or only made it into the second violin section.

I now believe that this year was a year of learning. I have learned to not dwell on the past but instead to look toward the future. Failures hurt but not trying would have hurt more. I may not be able to change my past but I do have the ability to change my future.