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When is it appropriate to write adversity essay on pre-adolescence/adult events?

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Hello everyone,

I've heard differing opinions on whether it's appropriate or not to write about pre-adolescence/adult events for your adversity essay? I understand to stay away from early-childhood events. But what about childhood and onwards?

[examples removed to remain anon]

Edit: Consensus is still split. But to err on side of caution, I shall choose something from adult and onwards.
 
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doctorleospaceman

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Honestly, it all depends on how you write it. As long as it's significantly more growing/learning experience than plain pitty story it can work.
 
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The Knife & Gun Club

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Agree with above. Any of those will work if written correctly.

Remember you want to describe how you changed, grew, and improved from adverse events. Don't just talk about the events themselves or else all you'll end up with is a pity essay and not much sympathy.
 
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Goro

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I'd reject you for this alone because your experiences as a child have nothing to do with your experiences as an adult. You're a different person now. I pretended I was a spy when I was ten, and wanted to be a fighter pilot.




2) Being bullied, physically and emotionally, in the 4th grade because of my low-income status (yeah, kids can be mean). Not sure of this one cause as a 10 year-old I did not directly do anything to stop it
 

OMG I'm going to be an MD

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I'd reject you for this alone because your experiences as a child have nothing to do with your experiences as an adult. You're a different person now. I pretended I was a spy when I was ten, and wanted to be a fighter pilot.




I'm afraid I vehemently disagree with you. Each of those topics (or all of them with the uniting theme of overcoming them to become a responsible adult) has great potential. OP's experience is very unique; YOU had the luxury of being able to pretend to be a spy, OP was a bullied child, and a disadvantage adolescence. Pretending to be a spy is a great way for kids to explore potential career fields, having the living hell beat outta you is only important if the child wants to be a professional masochist. Being bullied at a young age is no less painful than being bullied as an adult. Having to sacrifice to take of of someone, especially a loved one suffering from dementia is no less educational to a child than an adult. OP didn't want to be a fighter pilot at ten, OP was too busy struggling with pain and bitterness no child has to deal with, didn't get any better at 16 when OP had to take care of grandma. You know when OP was freed from care-giving duty? When grandma died. No offense sir, but if you are really in a position to evaluate MD candidates, you should be more sensitive. You are so right, OP is a different person now, I guess all than gain form pain crap is no lie.
OP please do the world a favor, write (strategically i.e don't whine, discuss your past and how it helped shape you) about these experiences, get a spot and be the best physician you can be. We need more physicians who know s*** can get real even in the land of the free.
 
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Astra

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I'd reject you for this alone because your experiences as a child have nothing to do with your experiences as an adult. You're a different person now. I pretended I was a spy when I was ten, and wanted to be a fighter pilot.




2) Being bullied, physically and emotionally, in the 4th grade because of my low-income status (yeah, kids can be mean). Not sure of this one cause as a 10 year-old I did not directly do anything to stop it

I am talked about losing my 10 year old brother when I was 11. I am writing this for an adversity/challenge essay. Would you really think I shouldn't write about this and pick something more recent?

Its honestly the biggest challenge I have faced in life.
 
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doctorleospaceman

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I'd reject you for this alone because your experiences as a child have nothing to do with your experiences as an adult. You're a different person now. I pretended I was a spy when I was ten, and wanted to be a fighter pilot.
But his childhood experience is what shaped his current activities and motivations:
The experience had a lasting impression on me, and has motivated me to work in bullying awareness, socioemotional learning, mentorship later on in college. In a way, I retroactively overcame it and helped others to overcome the same thing. I also worked a lot with young bullies who were themselves struggling with problems.

If he just talked about how he was bullied I would agree with you (though probably still wouldn't compare it to pretending to be a spy). But if that experience is still a visible motivating factor today then it remains extremely relevant.
 
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Goro

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Everything in our childhood makes us what we are; but we're not children, but our perceptions as adults are different than that of children. This is why we don't count HS experiences in the app. Hence, I want to know how you the adult deals with adversity, not you when Lost was going off the air.


But his childhood experience is what shaped his current activities and motivations:


If he just talked about how he was bullied I would agree with you (though probably still wouldn't compare it to pretending to be a spy). But if that experience is still a visible motivating factor today then it remains extremely relevant.
 

Goro

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I think this is more important to discuss than being bullied. So yes, fair game.


I am talked about losing my 10 year old brother when I was 11. I am writing this for an adversity/challenge essay. Would you really think I shouldn't write about this and pick something more recent?

Its honestly the biggest challenge I have faced in life.
 

doctorleospaceman

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Everything in our childhood makes us what we are; but we're not children, but our perceptions as adults are different than that of children. This is why we don't count HS experiences in the app. Hence, I want to know how you the adult deals with adversity, not you when Lost was going off the air.

I think this is more important to discuss than being bullied. So yes, fair game.
I think you're just belittling the effect childhood bullying can have on emotional, social and overall personal development all the way through adulthood. You can't say that one adversity was less consequential than another or that some odd number of years makes it irrelevant without knowing the details. Obviously random volunteer activities from grade school have an expiration date of sorts, but this case is different.

But I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. If other adcoms view it the same way you do, then I suppose it's best for OP to avoid this grey area if possible.
 
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Agree with above. Any of those will work if written correctly.

Remember you want to describe how you changed, grew, and improved from adverse events. Don't just talk about the events themselves or else all you'll end up with is a pity essay and not much sympathy.
Absolutely! Thanks, I included the details for some context, but will definitely be more conscious of tone on the real deal.
 
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@OMG I'm going to be an MD

Gotta admit, the other poster's cold, dismissive answer was unexpected considering their influence on here and the fact that their posts have helped me before. Maybe they had a bad day and my original post came off whinier than I intended? No matter, I appreciate your understanding and supportive words. YOU are going to be a great doctor because you seek to understand and withhold judgement. Thank you
 
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I think you're just belittling the effect childhood bullying can have on emotional, social and overall personal development all the way through adulthood. You can't say that one adversity was less consequential than another or that some odd number of years makes it irrelevant without knowing the details. Obviously random volunteer activities from grade school have an expiration date of sorts, but this case is different.

But I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. If other adcoms view it the same way you do, then I suppose it's best for OP to avoid this grey area if possible.

Thanks @doctorleospaceman I will avoid the grey space and thanks for your words. :clap: I was planning on writing about something that happened more recently, but wanted to ask because it's never clear. so I am taken aback by the uncalled for rudeness from that poster. The "belittling" of experiences, especially without knowing the full story, was unnecessary and disrespectful. A simple, professional "no, I don't think it is appropriate to write about because it does not demonstrate how you cope as an adult" would have suffice. They had no right to dismiss the value of another person's experience by comparing it to their spy fantasies. :nono:
 
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