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When answering this question, resist the urge to rewrite your resume. Remember: it’s your job, as an applicant, to use every essay as an opportunity to reveal something new about yourself.
Maybe as a volunteer you were in charge of teaching new staff the proper policies for walking dogs at the local shelter.
Perhaps, during a group project at school, you organized and planned all of your meetings and drove home classmates who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend group sessions outside of school hours.
As you sift through your “challenges” route, aim to showcase qualities like resilience, perseverance, or simply an ability to turn lemons into lemonade.
Perhaps the long commutes on the bus between home, school, and your internship taught you about time management or inspired an interest in urban planning.
This prompt sounds simple enough: describe what you want to study and why you like it so much that you’re willing to dedicate four years of your life to it (at the very least).
While you might be tempted to get technical or poetic in your response, your reader will expect you to connect your intended major to some prior experience and/or passion. Lucky for you, we would have advised you to start with an anecdote anyway.
The goal isn’t to craft a list, so aim to focus on one central story that describes an opportunity or a challenge.
When brainstorming, on the other hand, we recommend writing the longest list you can think of: two columns or a Venn diagram documenting every hurtle or special chance you got throughout high school.
The challenges you choose to write about can be serious (dealing with bullies or discovering a learning disability) or seemingly banal (a public speaking #fail).
While the possibilities are almost endless, students should be careful not to choose challenges that may seem trite (getting a B on a big project or winning lottery tickets to Hamilton).