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Feedback on abuse essay

mariam18mariam18 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited November 29 in College Essays
For one of my UC essays, I am required to write about the most significant obstacle I have faced and the steps I took to overcome that challenge. I want to talk about this past semester. It goes in depth about an event that occurred, regarding my circumstances at home.

I was physically assaulted and had to move out at the beginning of this fall semester. Taking 18 units and working 20 hours per week in order to escape a life-threatening situation and not having a stable home environment (living with friends, sleeping in my car) and still making it a point to volunteer, participate in the PTK honors society, and not risk my grades. At one point I mention the event (not in graphic detail) and how it was not an option for me to miss my class that morning following the incident. I showed up to class because I am determined to succeed.

I tried very hard to not make it a "poor me" essay because I've never even felt that way while any of this was happening. I would just like to know of any feedback and whether I should tone it down.

Replies to: Feedback on abuse essay

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,362 Senior Member
    This current thread is about the same topic. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/2112195-writing-about-rape-in-essay.html#latest

    I am sorry this happened to you. Here is my response on that same thread:

    I do not think you should write about it. It's a terrible thing to have happened, and I am not trying to minimize it. But there are SO many students out there who have suffered all kinds of awful and traumatic experiences. Many students come to this forum asking if they should write about their mental health issue, medical issue, death of a family member, abuse, parents' divorce, and more. I understand 100% that these experiences are a huge part of who a student is. Many students will write about them no matter what anyone else thinks, and that is fine.

    I strongly feel that most people are more than the bad thing that happened. I think that every student can talk about something that shows their resiliency and strength that is not just surviving the ordeal, and I think it is possible to do so without talking about the trauma itself. Are you a person who was raped and survived, or are you a strong person who loves yoga and painting? Be aware that no matter how you describe the incident/trauma/experience, it may sound as though you are trying to elicit sympathy, even subconsciously. Is it a bad thing to elicit sympathy, even if you aren't aware that you are doing it? I don't have an answer. Would it be enough to say "A crime was committed against me. This is how I coped and got my life back."?

    You came here saying you fully intend to write about it, so I do think you are looking for confirmation as much as advice. If you must mention it, I would be short and concise: "I was raped. The experience traumatized me, and this is how I worked my way back from it..." I think even three sentences is too many. I also think it's best to show an aspect of your personality that is more than Londontola, The Survivor.

    I sense that you are probably a good writer, so be careful in your approach. Give them a reason to want you on campus.
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    I am so sorry about what happened to you. As a person who was the subject of child abuse (many, many years ago), I have a different view than Lindagaf. No, you do not want to come across as a victim/just a survivor, or as wanting sympathy. But, being forced to move out of your house as a teenager due to home violence, and rising above that, shows a strength, resilience, and maturity that can't be compared to the strength of loving painting and yoga. I am not an experienced essay reviewer, however. Perhaps you can write your story more in terms of raising yourself at a young age, without mentioning any specifics (due to family dynamics/issues, you've been living on your own....)?

    These things do change your life. I hope you have gotten help.
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