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It has historically served as a fabulous catch-all for subjects that don’t fit within the confines of the other prompt options.
Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore.
Some key questions to consider: Overall, try to keep these stories as positive as possible.
Applicants who can articulate their thoughts and feelings while showcasing malleability and willingness to thoughtfully consider the ideas of others will likely stand out as valuable additions to any campus.
If this prompt jumps out at you because you have a very specific story to tell or opinion to voice, run with it!
We have always believed that essays about overcoming obstacles are most effective when they focus more on solutions than problems.
Accordingly, Prompt #2 essays should be predominantly filled with a student’s response, outlook, and demeanor when presented with one of life’s many hurdles, rather than a detailed account of the hurdle itself.
Consider these questions as you brainstorm: Your essay does not have to be focused around a fundamentally serious or groundbreaking issue (see the horror genre example above).
What matters most when responding to this prompt is that you have strong convictions about the belief or idea you are trying to convey, and that you examine the personal effects of this ethos on your life and world.
They can be as serious as being tormented by bullies, as ingrained as the financial issues that have plagued your family for years, or as seemingly pedestrian as a mistake that costs you a tip while waiting tables.
While the possibilities are almost endless, students should be careful not to choose challenges that may seem trite (the inability to achieve an A on an exam and/or secure tickets to that Drake concert) or that illustrate a lapse in good judgment (that time you crashed your car or ate 15 bags of Cheetos in one sitting).