Hello all, I'm not quite sure if I'm able to post my rough draft of an essay on here, but I've seen several threads of that sort, so here I go. The prompt which invaded my essay off of is: "One page essay which states reasons for seeking nomination." It was another slow day for my parents’ job, third slow day in the week to be exact. Sitting down, my parents let out a sigh and say to me: “Son, we don’t want you to grow up and become like us, constantly working every day of the week from 11am-9pm and almost every day of the year with no vacations or leisure. We want you to strive for and achieve the great things in life that won’t leave you with any regrets later on. Do you understand us?” I nod. There I was, sitting at a corner table of my parents’ small restaurant in midtown ******, doing my math homework. Back then, being the chubby, innocent 5th grader that I was, I understood little of what my parents were telling me. However, all of that naturally changed as time passed. Fast forwarding to five years later when I was at my dad’s friend’s small liquor store, the friend told me how his two sons were recent graduates of West Point. I remember him telling me how West Point and all of the other service academies alike make a “man” into a man. Then as he passionately delved into other invaluable aspects of life at a service academy, everything ‑ at last ‑ clicked. "I will be able to fulfill my parents’ wishes of me living my life to the fullest by attending one of the service academies and taking on the exciting journey of a military officer!” I thought. Then my thoughts quickly reprimanded myself, “No! You are not living your life to satisfy other people, which include your parents. Your parents will be happy when you’re happy with your choices in life. Now go out there and strive to become the next great cadet!” Thereafter, everything became history. I made extra efforts to get straight A’s, join activities and take leadership roles, partake in community service, get good standardized test scores, and engage in a varsity sport, all in efforts to improve my chances of admittance to a service academy. Despite unprecedented determination, in times of doubt and frustration, I countlessly reminded myself of the reasons why I am doing what I am doing: for the infrangible camaraderie, for wanting to push myself to the limit, for wanting to find out my maximum potential, and for wanting to step out of my comfort zone and not settle for anything less. Now I realize how I’ve actually been living the life of a cadet all this time. Leading my boy scout troop across a 10-foot COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) wall, persevering in writing my 56-page essay about denouement of the Pevensies from The Chronicles of Narnia series, and closing out a nerve-racking 7-6 set score tennis-thriller are all fair examples of my life as a cadet in the civilian world. It is my goal and essentially my future to become the next great cadet, who won’t be spending another slow day in his life.