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adversity vs difficulty?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by naixin, Jun 28, 2012.

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  1. naixin

    naixin

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity.


    What does adversity mean? Does it have to be external? This is the dictionary definition: a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune (see adverse)

    The key word is serious or continued.

    I had some difficulties with lab courses during my freshman year even the beginning of my sophomore year and was frustrated and thought i was just not a person for lab. I tried hard and eventually got better at those lab courses during the rest of my college years. Is that adversity or just difficulty or challenge?
     
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  3. BarcaBest23

    BarcaBest23 Member 7+ Year Member

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    If this is the biggest adversity you have ever faced, I envy you my friend.

    I would suggest something more personal and moving (assuming you have difficult experiences in your personal life) that would be an interesting read for the people reading your essays. The best way to approach admissions essays is: as a person who reads 1,000 essays a day, is this essay an enjoyable read and break from the norm or just another organic chem is hard derp derp derp....
     
  4. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

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    You could use any of those words to describe it. Personally I'd say it was a challenge/difficulty, but that's based on my background and the things I've experienced.
     
  5. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery 5+ Year Member

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    You are not writing about dealing with undergraduate lab. If you are going to post a dictionary definition, at least read it and try to understand it. This does not fit the 'definition' of adversity and if it did, it is a poor example of it. Think about the spirit of the question. What is the admissions committee really asking you? Consider the words of former British PM Benjamin Disraeli, "There is no education like adversity." Do not treat this essay as a bubble to be filled in. Instead, elect to engage an adcom in a discussion of your outside of the classroom education. Perhaps something that complements the rest of your application?

    Or ponder the words of transcendentalists Thoreau and Emerson, "All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune" and "Fractures well cured make us more strong." Where have you grown? What difficult obstacle have you overcome that changed who you are as an individual? What event has demonstrated perseverance, drive, and character?

    A common mistake in an adversity essay is to only consider academic topics. While those exist, the stronger essay will be far more introspective and often, personal. You can not get to age 20 and not face adversity. Yes, you are potentially at a disadvantage by not having a personal tragedy to discuss (first world problem), but pick something a) a little more original than a difficult class and b) meaningful.
     
  6. naixin

    naixin

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    The thing made me cry was something very special as an old pre-med.

    in 2009, I had a car accident and had encountered a noxious insurance company. At the same time. My fetus was diagnosed with turner syndrome and cystic hygroma and I had to do an abortion. The procedure was not well done. I had a hemorrage and went again to the hosptial and did procedures two more times. I was in a very depressed state for about two weeks. Cried everyday. But, this kind of mishap happens, and the best cure is time. I tried to work hard in the lab and forgot it. I got pregnant again 3 months later.

    I'm not sure that was adversity and how I actively overcame it.

    Another thing is that I claimed myself as disadvantaged because my family was poor, but this is already mentioned in the AMCAS primary application.


     
  7. naixin

    naixin

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Thanks for the great comments!

     
  8. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery 5+ Year Member

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    You have plenty of topics to work with. Overcoming adversity isn't always about the strong warrior who takes on the world. The key word is 'overcoming', which one can interpret in a variety of ways. Dealing with grief because of loss is a huge part of one's life. Overcoming that grief is a good topic to write about.

    Dealing with an insurance company can often require overcoming adversity. Again, you don't have to win a landmark case against them for it to be significant. Learning the ropes of an uncaring entity while you are hurt and alone is a powerful topic. Whatever coping skills, or character you developed from that experience would be a very good starting point.
     
  9. naixin

    naixin

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Does writing about abortion because of turner syndrome and serious health conditions seem controversial? Maybe I will write about the difficulties I had gone through on breastfeeding my seondary baby instead.
     

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