Challenge/adversity essay?

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pedneuro6894

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Realistically, my biggest disappointment/challenge in life is sucking at getting into medical school. However, I know I can’t write about that, so I have a couple other options and wanted some opinions.

1. I was a 3 year starting football player in college, but my senior year I bulged 3 discs in my back and it was putting my season in jeopardy. I overcame it through hours of PT every single day. I went through the entire season following the same cycle: played in a game, could barely walk the next day, would hammer PT all week until I felt just good enough to play in the next game, and right back to not being able to walk. Despite this, I was named first team all conference, academic all conference, and was voted as my schools scholar-athlete of the year. It was mentally and physically draining and it taught me resilience blah blah blah. Con: I already use my background in athletics as my diversity prompt so not sure if I can double dip.

2. I had to fire my sister. I’m a clinical manager at a primary care office, and I hired my sister as a medical assistant this summer. She did something unprofessional at work and I had to fire her on her second day. Made me look bad, made her look bad, it was a mess. Very challenging and disappointing, but it taught me how to handle hard situations in a professional way. It also taught me there’s two sides to everything. I had to be her boss and make sure she knew she messed up, but I also had to be there as her brother and be a supportive presence. At the end of the day, I had to do what was right and put my feelings aside even though I didn’t want to fire her. Maybe there’s a better reflection, just throwing thoughts out.

3. I had to rehome my dog. I had a Great Dane who was super sweet and just a GIANT dumb puppy. She loved to play but did not know her size, and I have a 15mo son. We were doing our best at training her out of her bad habits, but she pawed really hard at my son and thank god she did not connect because if she did he could have been seriously hurt/lost an eye. That night we rehomed her. It was a really hard decision to make because we loved her a lot, we just had to put our kid first. In the end, it was best for both us and the dog. We got her kind of on a whim, and maybe it wasn’t the best idea to get a giant puppy with a baby. It taught me to be more patient with my decisions and really weigh things out before doing them, but similar to #2, I have to make the right decision even if it’s the hard one.

Sorry I’m thinking of these in the moment so these reflections probably suck! Just trying to get some ideas down. What do yall think?

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What's the specific prompt?


I would prefer #1. The other 2 prompts aren't challenges except that you had to make a tough but necessary decision in both cases (which could be another prompt you may face). Readers and interviewers want to know about challenges you faced, how you problem-solved, and why the stakes were so high in this challenge. Now if you had to euthanize your dog...
 
What's the specific prompt?
I've only gotten to the Duke one "What have you discovered from your setbacks and disappointments and how does this translate to your current way of thinking?", but I'm also just prepping for the typical "talk about a challenge and how you overcame it and what you learned from it" questions as well.

I would prefer #1.
I agree that I like number 1 the best, but I was worried about the double dipping. Do you think that's okay?
 
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I've only gotten to the Duke one "What have you discovered from your setbacks and disappointments and how does this translate to your current way of thinking?", but I'm also just prepping for the typical "talk about a challenge and how you overcame it and what you learned from it" questions as well.

I agree that I like number 1 the best, but I was worried about the double dipping. Do you think that's okay?
I agree that you cannot just copy/paste your diversity essay, but I also believe the life of an injured student athlete is more nuanced than the description you gave. You can talk about the disappointment of rehab or maybe a different type of setback earlier in your student athlete experience (say, in high school). Unless you were so gifted or lucky that you never lost a game, league, or state/national championship, you are likely way too familiar with disappointment (you got owned, Mossed, posterized...). That leads you to responding to the Duke prompt about what you learned about yourself and how you now cope with the fact that life is more about disappointment than success.... oh I can't give away my philosophy about this. :)
 
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1 and 2 are fine. I wouldn't do 3, because it calls into question your judgement (getting a giant puppy when you have a human baby and have limited experience with puppies) and capacity to manage situations (properly train and supervise a puppy). In fact, it doesn't show that you were able to meet a challenge--you took the easy way out by dumping the dog.
 
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