How to write the overcoming challenges essay with Robert

Recorded Friday, October 29 at 12:00 AM

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About this livestream


You’ll probably be asked how you’ve overcome adversity in your college essays — but communicating this through a college application can be difficult. So join Robert this Thursday to learn how you can convey your lived experience in a compelling essay that optimizes your chance of admission.

Robert will be providing a full breakdown of everything you need to know about this essay type, including: what admissions officers are looking for, how to research school-specific info, and general tips for writing. He'll also go through an example of an essay or two on-air so you can see how admissions officers would critique this kind of essay.

Robert will also open up the floor for a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about the overcoming adversity essay.

Your host

Undergrad College: Yale University '21

Major: Ethics, Politics & Economics; Classics (Intensive)

Work Experience: As a recent graduate of Yale University, I am excited to begin my first year with CollegeVine! In many ways, CV was a natural fit for me -- at Yale, I worked for over two years in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, beginning as a Senior Interviewer in the summer of 2019, during which I interviewed over 200 first-year applicants for the 2019-2020 college admissions cycle. After the summer ended, I became Lead Recruitment Coordinator, a full-time position responsible for executing and overseeing Yale’s numerous post-admissions decision yield initiatives, as well as serving as a spokesman for the university both in person and online. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of interacting with hundreds of students and their families at all stages of the college application process.

My Admissions Story: Having always been interested in studying a variety of subjects within the Humanities and Social Sciences, I applied to a smattering of liberal arts colleges and universities (mostly on the East Coast) with strong departments in these areas, large and diverse student bodies, and varied extracurricular opportunities. When my college admissions decisions rolled in, I immediately accepted an offer from my dream school, Yale University, which I had always felt best embodied the opportunities and goals that I desired from my college experience -- and since that day, I’ve never looked back.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Robert and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
1:38@hn2004:I can hear you :)
5:14@Laurie:we can see and hear you
23:51@Gleb:Is moving schools a common topic?
24:20@Benjamin:Really blunt but would divorce be considered a common topic?
25:20@Gleb:Should the challenge be during high school?
26:34@Lulu1900:Should I talk about how I challenge myself in math
27:49@chelseanimo:would be fighting about overcoming weightloss a good essay? \
28:32@Gleb:Can the challenge span a longer period of time?
29:14@ss24:what was important to you as a college undergraduate admisson?
32:54@chelseanimo: meant writing ?
32:56@hn2004:Do you suggest finding one theme to write about or should each essay be completely different? Like can this essay relate to my common app essay?
35:40@Lulu1900:Should I talk about how I challenge myself in math
35:41@Echoshine:What's a good length for the essay assuming there's no minimum/maximum word count?
37:40@Alexa77:Are controversial topics a good idea to write about for a college essay, if you are passionate about them?
40:16@awindross:could you speak about different ways of structuring the essay again please.
64:19@Gleb:Can I discuss multiple experiences? Can it be a mini-experience within a larger experience? you, very helpful!
65:31@ss24:This was so helpful, thank you!!
65:33@ss24:What did you get involve in highschool?
68:24@hn2004:People have said not "speak ill" of communities/past schools, but would it be okay to talk about being gay in a homophobic school?
70:27@crystal2022:can the turning point of your essay be in your last paragraph?
72:26@hn2004:Thank you so much for answering my questions!! This has been so so so helpful!!!
73:27@ss24:This was so so helpful!! Have a nice evening!!!!


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