10+ Year Member
- Sep 28, 2009
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I was wondering which of these topics would be the most compelling to talk about for a personal challenge/adversity essay. To be honest, I have had a privileged life compared to most people so everything I kept thinking of seemed really trivial compared to what others went through. I appreciate any feedback, so please be brutally honest. I want to write the best essay I can.
1. My grandmother raised me for most of my life and she was like a second mother to me. I was born in the USA and, growing up, I always struggled with my identity (balancing my American values versus Asian values). One aspect that my family never practiced was being open and honest about our inner feelings. When she passed away suddenly during my college years, it was a shock to me and I struggled with grieving properly. I never really learned to express my emotions so I just bottled it in. My dad was overseas for work at the time, so it was only my mom and sister at home. They were also struggling with it and I felt like I had to be "the strong one" in order to be there for them. After some time passed and still not feeling better, I began to talk to friends and my family who were my support group. I learned how it was not shameful to express my emotions and how important it was to have a support group. I was going to connect it with my experience volunteering with hospice a few years later and how it helped me to connect with other people who had similar experiences of a dying loved one. I was also going to talk about how my time with hospice helped me process what I went through myself and also taught me more about the life and death dynamics in medicine.
2. I was really good at working the customer service desk and as a cashier at a major retail store. I was praised for my work and felt really confident when I was promoted to be one of the new front-end supervisors. I was going to talk about how one of my first days working the front in this position went terribly wrong. I didn't delegate tasks properly to my staff and customer lines became out of control. I had to call my store director who came for backup and eventually it got back under control. I was going to talk about how I felt really embarrassed and felt like an incompetent leader that let his team down because all of the other supervisors never had to call for backup. I was going to go into how I wanted to get better so I asked the other supervisors for advice and watched how they worked. Over time, I implemented these new strategies and was going to talk about the improvements to my leadership skills and what I learned about leading others. Later on, management saw my improvement and handling of the front-end that I was asked to be one of the designated trainers for the customer service desk too.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you all!
Both sound great. I happen to love #1 more as I tend to be partial to stories that involve both a medical issue and the subsequent learning from it, and I like the tie-in to volunteering with hospice.