Most Significant Challenge Essay

I am writing a college essay on a significant challenge I have faced (250 words).

I have written two drafts about two different challenges:

  1. On my robotics team was placed on the strategy team when I wanted to be on the robot programming team, but I was still able to make a significant contribution by developing an app that greatly boosts the productivity of our strategy team.
  2. My dad is abusive (emotional, verbal, financial) towards my mom, my sister, and myself and the emotional stress induced upon me by the hostility and lack of consistency in my household has been my biggest obstacle.

I have read that essays about abuse may not be taken positively, but dealing with abuse has honestly been my biggest challenge and I feel like my other challenges aren’t comparable. Also, I am not using my situation to make any excuses. How can I write a good essay on the topic?

If not, should I just stick with my other essay. My concern is for that one is that I have already wrote about developing a different app elsewhere in my application.

I am sorry about your situation, but I don’t think writing about abuse is a good thing. The problem with these essays comes down to the same issue, for the most part: It is difficult for students to write about such matters in an effective way. I’m not trying to sound harsh. Remember that the point of the essay is to sell yourself to admissions officers, not to make them feel sorry for you. It’s really common for kids to want to write about these things, but the essay isn’t meant to be a confessional.

However, if you feel strongly about it, make sure the essay stays positive. With only 250 words, you don’t have to go into details. You could reference it in the first line (My home life is not ideal due to my father, but I…) and use the rest of the essay to show how you have dealt with the situation in a way that has positively impacted your life or that of your other family members.

Thank you for responding. I thought it over with your advice in mind, and I realized that the essay I wrote would not fulfill its purpose to sell myself to admissions officers. I have decided against writing about abuse altogher.

Although it has been my most significant challenge, it does not portray me as a person who is ready to succeed in college. Instead, I will focus on more constructive obstacles.