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Discussing my eating disorder in college essays – too personal or potentially impactful?

Hey guys, so here's the thing – I’ve battled with an eating disorder, and it’s been a significant part of my high school experience. Should I write about overcoming this challenge in my essays, or would it be better to choose a less sensitive subject?

7 months ago

Your courage in facing and overcoming such a personal challenge is commendable. When choosing an essay topic, the key is to focus on how the experience has shaped you and enabled personal growth. If you believe that your journey with an eating disorder has been a transformational part of your high school experience and has changed you in a significant way, it is worth considering as an essay topic.

However, ensure that your narrative is one of resilience and that it showcases how this experience has helped you build up your strengths, rather than solely focusing on the struggle itself. For example, avoid graphic descriptions of what you dealt with, as they may be uncomfortable for admissions officers to read, especially if they have struggled with eating disorders themselves—remember, you never know who is going to be reading your essay.

Rather, focus on how overcoming the hardship of this experience has taught you important life skills, by talking about accomplishments or formative experiences that were enabled by the abilities you developed as a result of your struggle with your eating disorder. This approach will give colleges what they are interested in in any personal statement, which is your ability to persevere and how your experiences have prepared you for the challenges of college life.

In summary, this topic is not too personal if framed correctly. If you're wondering if your approach is working, you can always check out CollegeVine's free peer essay review service, or submit it to an expert advisor for a paid review. Since they don't know you, they can provide an objective perspective that will hopefully give you a sense of how an actual admissions officer would read you essay. Good luck!

7 months ago

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