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However, you should be careful not to sound over-confident (as if you are incapable of any failure larger than this).You also want to avoid making the failure sound more devastating than it actually was.Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
Another (perhaps more powerful) tactic with this essay is to write about a more foundational failure and then assess its impact on your development thereafter.
This allows you to tackle more meaty questions about ethics (perhaps you cheated on a test and felt horrible about it), morality (maybe you stole something, your parents berated you for it, and now you hate theft to such a degree that if you find money on the street, you turn it in), or the human condition (perhaps you made an insensitive comment or were close-minded in a particular instance).
However, a more tenable alternative here is to discuss a time that you went against social convention, whether it was becoming friends with someone who seemed like a social outcast and was ignored by most people but eventually became one of your best friends, by going against the popular opinion of your peers, or proudly showing off a geeky passion of yours.
And if you ever participated in a situation in concert with adults and found some success (i.e., by blogging, starting a tutoring organization, or participating in political campaigns), you could discuss your experiences as a young person without a college degree in professional and adult circles.
This prompt also represents an opportunity to consider questions of personal identity, whether that takes the form of racial identity, sexual orientation, gender, or simply one’s place within a specific community (even communities as unique as, say, players of World of Warcraft).
With the topic of racial identity, it’s important to keep in mind the audience (college admissions counselors tend to be progressive politically), so this might not be the best place to make sweeping claims about reverse racism against Caucasian-Americans.The showcasing of your unique thought processes is just as, if not more, critical than the actual problem itself.Accordingly, stream-of-consciousness can be used to great effect here.This prompt offers an excellent opportunity to engage with a particular extracurricular or academic area of passion, and it allows you to weave a narrative that displays personal growth in that subject or area.Particularly if you have an unconventional passion, such as blogging about Chinese basketball, or urban exploration, the combination of displaying your personality and the unique topic can be very eye-catching.The one thing to keep in mind when responding to this prompt is to avoid sounding morally superior (as if you are the only person who went against this social convention, or that you are better than your peers for doing so).Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve.We’re building a free college guidance platform for high school students like you!This means we’ll let you know exactly what and when you should be focusing on things like extracurriculars, college essays, standardized tests, and more.It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.