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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What experiences should I highlight in my 'Overcoming Challenges' essay?

Hey everyone, I'm brainstorming for my college essays and I have quite a few stories about challenges I've faced. I'm not sure which ones colleges would find most compelling. Should I focus on an academic hurdle, a personal obstacle, or a particular incident that showcases my resilience? How do I know which story reflects the qualities that admissions really value?

8 months ago

Hey there! I completely understand that choosing the right story for your 'Overcoming Challenges' essay can feel a bit daunting. It’s great that you have various experiences to choose from. You should go with a story that not only presents a significant challenge but also allows you to showcase growth and reflection. Admissions officers are looking to see how you've processed your experiences and what lessons you've learned.

For example, if you choose an academic hurdle, make sure to highlight how it drove you to develop new strategies or skills that led to improvement. If you opt to discuss a personal obstacle, it's impactful to show how overcoming it has shaped your outlook and character. The incident you pick should clearly illustrate your resilience, problem-solving abilities, and perhaps even how it's inspired your future aspirations or chosen field of study.

Remember to be authentic and specific in your storytelling; emotions and details help bring your narrative to life, making it more memorable for the admissions team. Above all, your chosen story should give them a sense of who you are and how you will contribute to their campus community.

8 months ago

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