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Writing about challenges I've overcome - help!

Hi all! I want to write an essay about a challenge I've overcome, but I'm not sure how to tackle it. Do you have any examples or suggestions on how to showcase my personal growth and resilience in a meaningful way? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

Hi there! Writing about challenges you've overcome can be a powerful way to demonstrate your personal growth and resilience. The key is to choose a specific challenge that has had a significant impact on your life and present it in a compelling manner. Here are a few suggestions and examples to get you started:

1. Focus on a specific challenge: Instead of trying to cover multiple challenges or provide a general overview of your life, choose one particular obstacle that has shaped your character and development. Doing so will allow you to dive deep into the story and share more intimate details about your experience.

2. Start with the problem: Begin your essay by describing the challenge or problem you faced. Paint a vivid picture of the circumstances and emotions you experienced at the time. This will engage the reader and create a sense of empathy for your situation.

Example: "During my sophomore year, my family experienced a devastating financial setback that resulted in the loss of our home. We were forced to move into a small apartment, and I struggled to adjust to the sudden downsize in our living space and the impact it had on my daily life."

3. Show your emotions: Share your thoughts and feelings as you faced the challenge. This provides insight into your mindset and opens a window to your vulnerability and determination.

Example: "As I lay on the floor of our cramped apartment, trying to find a comfortable spot to study, I felt overwhelmed by anger, frustration, and embarrassment."

4. Describe your actions: Discuss the steps you took to overcome the challenge. Did you develop a new skill, seek help from others, or come up with a creative solution? Share how you persevered and what strategies you employed to navigate the situation.

Example: "In the face of adversity, I remained determined to maintain high academic standards. I sought out the local library to study daily, as having more space and separation from my home life helped me concentrate and continue to succeed."

5. Highlight your growth: End the essay by discussing how overcoming the challenge has shaped you as an individual. Mention specific lessons, insights, or skills you've gained from your experience.

Example: "Through the process of navigating our financial hardship, I've grown increasingly resilient and resourceful. I have developed a deeper understanding of the value of education and the power of determination in the face of adversity."

6. Utilize CollegeVine's resources: CollegeVine has a blog post breaking down how to tackle this kind of prompts, which includes examples of successful responses and analysis of what made them work (https://blog.collegevine.com/overcoming-challenges-essay). Additionally, CollegeVine offers both a free peer essay review tool and paid reviews by expert college admissions advisors. Either of these resources can help you verify that your approach is working.

Overall, remember to stay focused on your own personal journey and avoid clichés or overly general statements. By weaving a compelling narrative and emphasizing your unique growth and resilience, you'll create a memorable essay that will stand out to admissions officers. Good luck!

6 months ago

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