Unabridged and unedited since the day I submitted it. Here is the essay I wrote to convince people that I deserved to be at BYU.
Although I have learned much throughout my fourteen years of formal schooling, some of the most valuable knowledge that I carry with me I have learned through failure. In high school I failed time after time academically and spiritually. I tried to fight back using the wrong tools and further failed. When I arrived at BYU-Idaho, by my standards, I failed in the classes I attended. I failed to maintain a strong relationship with my family. I came home for a semester and failed financially at saving enough money for the next year at school. This pattern continued for about another year. I was surprisingly accepted to attend the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in August of 2007 and would attend in January of this year and I made a decision. I decided I would go there and be successful. I promised I would figure out why I was supposed to be there and I would take something more from there than just a few small souvenirs. I didn't quite know how to prepare for this semester abroad; I wasn't sure what to study and what to read so I didn't do much. In February, I was sitting in a classroom in Jerusalem and I realized that I had not kept my promise. I hadn't figured it out, why I was there and what I needed to do. I had failed, again. So I changed my focus to love. I made everything I did revolve around love. Love for my friends, my teachers, that country, those people, the gospel, my Savior and my Heavenly Father. Everything immediately became harder, but because my motivation was love I knew that I wouldn't fail. And I didn't. I learned that if I was driven by a desire to serve others through the love of Christ, I could not fail. That is why I'm applying to transfer again. I am motivated, not by money or praise but by love. I love the school, I love the career I'm pursuing and I am ready for the challenge. I know that if I'm given the opportunity to attend this school I will not fail.
I had forgotten how powerfully I felt at the time that I wanted to be at BYU. That is probably in my Top 5 of things I have fought relentlessly for in my life, until I got them.