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abusive childhood for common app?

frickskskfricksksk 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hey y'all, one of the common app prompts is "Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story" and I grew up with an verbally and physically abusive father up until a couple months ago when my mom, brother, and I finally moved out. My father would constantly belittle me and essentially never believed in any of my dreams + he has always refused to put forth any money for me or my siblings to go to college despite him bringing in enough money to at least SLIGHTLY contribute. All of this really made me believe that I have to genuinely work hard for what I want to do if I want to get anywhere and, although it did contribute to a lot of my struggles with mental health, it also forced me to develop a highly resilient attitude.

I feel like writing about this is essentially asking people to pity me, and that makes me unsure that I should even start drafting an essay about it. However, I think that flipping the topic on its head to show that, despite extreme, persistent difficulties growing up, I haven't stopped trying is most indicative of who I am as a person and what I bring to the table. What should I do?
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Replies to: abusive childhood for common app?

  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 236 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I wouldn't write about this. If you want colleges to know this it can be included elsewhere in the application. Your essay is your place to shine. It is hard to do that with an essay on this topic.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2793 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I am very sorry you had to deal with that growing up, and I'm glad that you and your family finally got away from this awful situation.

    However, while for you this was your life, for the OAs it's just another essay out of hundreds, which will include dozens on the topic of "How I Overcame hardship To Be Where I Am". The essay should tell them why they should choose you out of the other hundreds of applicants. More than that, you want your essay to tell them why they should select you out of all other applicants who overcame the difficulties in their lives. When the admissions people read your essay, you want them to say "this person would be a great addition to our college", not "we feel bad for this person", or even "wow, this person went through a lot". You want their interest, not their sympathy. It's not to say that you should avoid mentioning this, but it should not be the center or the focus of your essay.

    However, you could have your LoRs mention this, especially if you have one from your GC.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30501 replies59 threads Senior Member
    It should be addressed by your GC in the school recommendation.

    I always hesitate to say any topic other than the most offensive sorts should be avoided. Even hackneyed subjects surely, by now, most all subjects are getting there) can Be brought alive by the right writer.

    I’m sorry you , any , and all of those abused went through what you did. You are survivors and your stories are important. I don’t think it’s in any of our places to say that you should not write about this, especially if it’s an integral part of your life. Certainly when it is a direct answer to a question, such as about adversities you have faced, to skirt around this when it is clearly a topic you want to address, makes no sense.

    I also believe that everyone and anyone has been so hurt and victimized should be allowed to tell their stories,and let out their emotions as they please Others might not think so, and those others might be reading your essay. Which is why it can be a tricky writing terrain.
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