College application essays about cancer

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This meant transferring the family. And while there was concern about Sam, we all believed that given his sociable nature, moving would be far less impactful on him than staying put might be on me. But preoccupied with new friends and a rigorous course load, I failed to notice that the tables had turned.

Sam had become withdrawn and lonely. While I saw myself as genuinely compassionate, I had been oblivious to the heartache of the person closest to me. We stayed up half the night talking. He told me how challenging school had always been for him, due to his dyslexia, and that the ever-present comparison to me had only deepened his pain. We had been in parallel battles the whole time and, yet, I only saw that Sam was in distress once he experienced problems with which I directly identified.

This experience has reinforced the value of constantly striving for deeper sensitivity to the hidden struggles of those around me. A more tenable alternative here could be to discuss a time that you went against social norms, whether it was by becoming friends with someone who seemed like an outcast or by proudly showing off a geeky passion. And if you ever participated in a situation in tandem with adults and found some success i.

Another way to answer this prompt is to discuss a time when you noticed a need for change. In a similar way, if you led a fundraiser and recognized that advertising on social media would be more effective than the traditional use of printed flyers, you could write about a topic along those lines as well.

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Focus on what action or experience caused you to recognize the need for change and follow with your actions and resulting outcome. As a whole, this prompt lends itself to reflective writing, and more specifically, talking the reader through your thought processes. In many cases, the exploration of your thought processes and decision-making is more important than the actual outcome or concept in question. A good brainstorming exercise for this prompt would be to write your problem on a sheet of paper and then develop various solutions to the problem, including a brief reason for justification.

The more thorough you are in justifying and explaining your solutions in the essay, the more compelling your response will be.

College Essays: How to Write an Entrance Paper Successfully - WSJ

One of our consultants penned her experience of growing up with a unique name, and feeling pressured to be different from others. She would sacrifice her wishes and preferences just to make the unconventional choice. Finally, she challenged this idea of being different for the sake of being different to discover her real interests. She must be from somewhere exotic. She must be musical and artsy. When I was little, these sentiments felt more like commands than assumptions. I thought I had to be the most unique child of all time, which was a daunting task, but I tried.


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I was the only kid in the second grade to color the sun red. During snack time, we could choose between apple juice and grape juice. I liked apple juice more, but if everyone else was choosing apple, then I had to choose grape. This was how I lived my life, and it was exhausting. After 8th grade, I moved to Georgia. I panicked. If there was no normal, how could I be unique? I realized that I had spent so much energy going against the grain that I had no idea what my true interests were.

It was time to find out. I joined the basketball team, performed in the school musical, and enrolled in chorus, all of which were firsts for me. I did whatever I thought would make me happy. And it paid off. I was no longer socially awkward. In fact, because I was involved in so many unrelated activities, I was socially flexible. I had finally become my own person. Our advice is to pick a problem that deeply concerns you and make it clear to your reader why that topic matters to you, either through an account of how your interest in the subject originated, or through an explanation of the potential consequences of the dilemma.

Even though the prompt allows you to explore more academic and intellectual topics, it is important not to get carried away with esoteric details. Bottom line, the topic you choose for this prompt should, like every topic, highlight your personality, identity, and how you think about the world. Be sure to describe the event or experience that caused you to realize the gravity of the problem, the specific actions you took to plan or execute your solution i. For example, if you care deeply about drug education because of a past experience with a friend or family member, you could outline a plan to bring young-adult speakers to your school to positively influence your peers and stress the real dangers of drugs.

As an alternative, this prompt gives you the opportunity to address a more ambitious, hypothetical problem you would like to solve. For example, you could address the logistical and legal problems of high-speed rail in the United States, the complex environmental and economic problems of using fossil fuels, or even the ethical dilemma of creating A. Be careful to frame your hypothetical problem clearly, explain why it is a problem, outline the important points, and explain your steps to create a solution.


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  4. This prompt is expansive in that you can choose any accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked personal growth or new understanding. One option is to discuss a formal accomplishment or event whether it is a religious ritual or social rite of passage that reflects personal growth. If you go this route, make sure to discuss why the ritual was meaningful and how specific aspects of said ritual contributed to your personal growth. An example of this could be the meaning of becoming an Eagle Scout to you, the accomplishment of being elected to Senior Leadership, or completing a Confirmation.

    Alternatively, a more relaxed way to address this prompt is using an informal event or realization, which would allow you to show more personality and creativity. An example of this could be learning how to bake with your mother, thus sparking a newfound connection with her, allowing you to learn about her past. Having a long discussion about life or philosophy with your father could also suffice, thus sparking more thoughts about your identity.

    You could write about a realization that caused you to join a new organization or quit an activity you did not think you would enjoy, as doing so would force you to grow out of your comfort zone to try new things. The key to answering this prompt is clearly defining what it is that sparked your growth, and then describing in detail the nature of this growth and how it related to your perception of yourself and others.

    Your growth can also be left open-ended if you are still learning from your experiences today. This essay describes the new tasks she undertook, as well as how the writer now more greatly cherishes her time with her mother. My mother had been a source of strength for me, and now I would be strong for her through her long recovery ahead.

    As I started high school, everyone thought the crisis was over, but it had really just started to impact my life.

    My mother was often fatigued, so I assumed more responsibility, juggling family duties, school, athletics, and work. I made countless trips to the neighborhood pharmacy, cooked dinner, biked to the grocery store, supported my concerned sister, and provided the loving care my mother needed to recover. I now take ownership over small decisions such as scheduling daily appointments and managing my time but also over major decisions involving my future, including the college admissions process. My mother remains a guiding force in my life, but the feeling of empowerment I discovered within myself is the ultimate form of my independence.

    This prompt allows you to expand and deepen a seemingly small or simple idea, topic, or concept. A tip for expanding on these topics and achieving specificity is to select particular details of the topic that you find intriguing and explain why. You can delve into why certain spices or garnishes are superior in different situations, how flavors blend well together and can be mixed creatively, or even the chemistry differences between steaming, searing, and grilling. Regardless of your topic, this prompt provides a great opportunity to display writing prowess through elegant, specific descriptions that leverage sensory details.

    In the case of surfing, the salty water, weightlessness of bobbing over the waves, and fresh air could cater to senses. Alternatively, for less physical topics, you can use a train of thought and descriptions to show how deeply and vividly your mind dwells on the topic. No university is going to admit a student because he or she has or had cancer.

    How to Write the Common Application Essays 12222-2020 (With Examples)

    The grades and scores still need to be there, but nearly all institutions weigh the challenges a student faces in order to reach those achievements. If a student has a period where grades suffer, it is often important to explain these in the context of life events. This is most effective where the applicant is able to demonstrate improvement. For me and hopefully for you, the responses help to put the young adult cancer journey in a helpful context. It is important to frame challenges in a way that will help an admissions officer learn about who you are and to understand and appreciate your aspirations and future goals and dreams.

    Commit your pen to paper or your fingers to a keyboard and begin to draft your story. Your story is uniquely yours and your identity is composed of a myriad of experiences that have made you who you are. Your cancer journey is real, but it is not your whole story. We thank Michele for the incredible support she provides AYAs! With your help we can make this a better world for young adults living with cancer. And I became so when I realized three things:. There is a variety of underwear for a variety of people. You have your ironed briefs for your businessmen, your soft cottons for the average, and hemp-based underwear for your environmental romantics.

    But underwear do not only tell us about who we are, they also influence our daily interactions in ways most of us don't even understand. For example, I have a specific pair of underwear that is holey, worn out but surprisingly comfortable.