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Diversity and Adversity Secondary Essays - Help!

SpartanDawg_4

Full Member
Dec 16, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
Diversity
What is everyone’s opinion on writing about an anecdotal experience for secondary essays? For this diversity essay in particular, I am an ORM, so wanted to write about my experience caring for a resident of mine at a nursing home who does not speak english, and what I learned from interacting / caring for her, and the perspective it gave me on what it may feel like to be misunderstood and not cared for, due to something like a language barrier.
I have also thought about writing about how I spend a lot of my free time, which is as a Young Life leader (I lead Bible studies and a youth group at a local high school), and my interactions with students who struggle financially and how I navigate that (in our interactions but also money-wise, by working hard to fundraise with them, running a 5k event, doing yard work, etc).
Unfortunately, these two experiences (CNA and YL leader) I already wrote a bit about in my Most Meaningful Activities on my primary app, but I didn’t talk specifically about these instances (barriers and lower SES).
I could also talk about what I’ve learned from my mom who has multiple sclerosis, and my brother who has severe mental illness (bipolar disorder with psychosis) but I don’t know.

Adversity
I am also concerned for this essay, because I took my strongest story and used it for my personal statement; I wrote a lot about the impact my recent (2 years ago) diagnosis with type 1 diabetes has had on me, and how I grew from it. I could definitely try to write about it again from a different angle, but worry it will sound repetitive and too much like my PS.
Besides that, struggling to think of adversity I have faced. I could talk about navigating my spring semester freshman year fresh off knee surgery, and the long road to recovery, but that sounds dumb.
I could also talk about how in high school my entire life was basketball until I was benched, and I started waking up at 6 am to workout to fight for playing time, but that seems so lame and relative to all the challenges in this world, seems insignificant.
Do I just bite the bullet and write about diabetes again?
 
Last edited:

SpartanDawg_4

Full Member
Dec 16, 2019
29
19
36
  1. Pre-Medical
I could also talk about what I’ve learned from my mom who has multiple sclerosis, and my brother who has severe mental illness (bipolar disorder with psychosis) but I don’t know.

I could also make this a "challenge and how you've overcome it" essay, how I have answered so many phone calls at 4 am with my brother on the verge of driving off the road, and how I've had to talk him down and love and support him through his confusion and illness. Not sure if that is too raw or inappropriate. I just saw another thread about someone supporting their roommate with mental illness through COVID so was unsure if that'd work.
 

SpartanDawg_4

Full Member
Dec 16, 2019
29
19
36
  1. Pre-Medical
I could even talk about one summer I had a job as a photographer/videographer for a triathlon company, was given a lot of autonomy, and how much I enjoyed taking photos and creating the highlight videos, which showcases my creative side possibly.
 
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  1. Non-Student
Diversity
What is everyone’s opinion on writing about an anecdotal experience for secondary essays? For this diversity essay in particular, I am an ORM, so wanted to write about my experience caring for a resident of mine at a nursing home who does not speak english, and what I learned from interacting / caring for her, and the perspective it gave me on what it may feel like to be misunderstood and not cared for, due to something like a language barrier.
I have also thought about writing about how I spend a lot of my free time, which is as a Young Life leader (I lead Bible studies and a youth group at a local high school), and my interactions with students who struggle financially and how I navigate that (in our interactions but also money-wise, by working hard to fundraise with them, running a 5k event, doing yard work, etc).
Unfortunately, these two experiences (CNA and YL leader) I already wrote a bit about in my Most Meaningful Activities on my primary app, but I didn’t talk specifically about these instances (barriers and lower SES).
I could also talk about what I’ve learned from my mom who has multiple sclerosis, and my brother who has severe mental illness (bipolar disorder with psychosis) but I don’t know.

Adversity
I am also concerned for this essay, because I took my strongest story and used it for my personal statement; I wrote a lot about the impact my recent (2 years ago) diagnosis with type 1 diabetes has had on me, and how I grew from it. I could definitely try to write about it again from a different angle, but worry it will sound repetitive and too much like my PS.
Besides that, struggling to think of adversity I have faced. I could talk about navigating my spring semester freshman year fresh off knee surgery, and the long road to recovery, but that sounds dumb.
I could also talk about how in high school my entire life was basketball until I was benched, and I started waking up at 6 am to workout to fight for playing time, but that seems so lame and relative to all the challenges in this world, seems insignificant.
Do I just bite the bullet and write about diabetes again?
You bring diversity to a Class because you're nice to people? You're supposed to be nice!

Introspection time. What's cool about you?

Your struggles with T1D would make a good story for adversity/challanges
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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  1. Academic Administration
Among the characteristics that you bring to the class would be your language skills. then you can use the story of how you have used those skills to bring comfort to a non-English speaking resident of a nursing facility.

Read the prompts for "adversity". What are they asking for specifically? What have you got for that specific prompt? Being asked how you coped, versus how you solved a problem, versus what your support network looks like are different questions and they might require drawing on different stories to do justice to the speciific prompt. Don't try to write one adversity essay to cover everything because it will be just a little bit off almost every time. Look at the schools you are applying to, find the prompts for those specific schools and draft your secondaries one by one.
 

SpartanDawg_4

Full Member
Dec 16, 2019
29
19
36
  1. Pre-Medical
You bring diversity to a Class because you're nice to people? You're supposed to be nice!

Introspection time. What's cool about you?

Your struggles with T1D would make a good story for adversity/challanges

Thank you so much for the feedback! I've been thinking some more. A big part of who I am is my faith; I consider that the biggest driving force of my life, and a place where I find a lot of strength and peace. But I am wary of talking too much about it in my application as I know it can be a touchy subject, and I don't necessarily think its super unique (a lot of people are of faith).
Another passion I have is sports, I love competition but again am worried that isn't enough to set me apart in a diversity sense as many enjoy sports.
Yes I definitely think I should write about my struggles with T1D, I'll just spin it in a different light than in my personal statement.
 

SpartanDawg_4

Full Member
Dec 16, 2019
29
19
36
  1. Pre-Medical
Among the characteristics that you bring to the class would be your language skills. then you can use the story of how you have used those skills to bring comfort to a non-English speaking resident of a nursing facility.

Read the prompts for "adversity". What are they asking for specifically? What have you got for that specific prompt? Being asked how you coped, versus how you solved a problem, versus what your support network looks like are different questions and they might require drawing on different stories to do justice to the speciific prompt. Don't try to write one adversity essay to cover everything because it will be just a little bit off almost every time. Look at the schools you are applying to, find the prompts for those specific schools and draft your secondaries one by one.

Thank you for this!! I think that is a good idea, focus on my communication skills.
And great advice, I will make sure not to use a cookie-cutter adversity essay, but to make sure it is specifically answering the different "adversity" question from each school.
 
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