What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
What opportunities and challenges were specific to your high school experience? The goal isn’t to craft a list, so aim to focus on one central story that describes either an opportunity or a challenge. When brainstorming, on the other hand, we recommend writing the longest list you can think of: two columns or a Venn diagram documenting every hurtle or special chance you got throughout high school.
As you consider your “opportunities,” keep in mind that your reflection on the event or opportunity that shaped who you are today will be a source of great insight for admissions. Maybe being fluent in Tagalog opened up a unique opportunity for you to start an online exchange between your school and a school in the Philippines. Or were you invited to perform with your dance group at a community event? Did this experience launch you to seek out other performance opportunities, spurring your interest in entrepreneurship? As you sift through your “challenges” route, aim to showcase qualities like resilience, perseverance, or simply an ability to turn lemons into lemonade. Perhaps the long commutes on the bus between home, school, and your internship taught you about time management or inspired an interest in urban planning. The challenges you choose to write about can be serious (dealing with bullies or discovering a learning disability) or seemingly banal (a public speaking #fail). While the possibilities are almost endless, students should be careful not to choose challenges that may seem trite (getting a B on a big project or winning lottery tickets to Hamilton).
Regardless of the direction you choose to pursue, remember to make sure that admissions is learning something new about you through personal anecdotes and specific details.