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OVERCOMING CHALLENGE - How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

smarquez16 3 / 3 2  
Nov 27, 2018   #1


Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?

Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you've faced and what you've learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

If you're currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, "How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?"

I'm over 100 words, what should I take out to make it more clear and what should I add to clarify my challenge and somewhat overcoming it.

Ever since I was little I was expected to be someone I'm not. I was expected to fit the stereotype of who I look like. I was supposed to write pretty like a girl, or do "girly" sports instead of doing t-ball.

I remember my father taking me out of T-ball because he thought i didn't enjoy it, being the only girl on the team and put me into cheerleading, following the "norm" of society. Little did I know that even though i was doing what society expected me to do I would continue to be stereotyped.

Dumb. Snobby. Fake. You name it. I was called just about everything negative you can think of, not because that's who i am or how i acted but merely because i was a cheerleader.

In my time in high school i specifically excelled in math and science classes. And people would always make comments like "wow i didn't think you would be smart, aren't you a cheerleader?" or " Wow you're too pretty to be good at math" or my favorite, "Girls cant be good at math, did you cheat or what?" Which amazed me because i saw absolutely no correlation between cheerleading/appearance and my academic performance.

Eventually I quit cheer to focus on my academics my sophomore year, but the stereotyping didn't stop because I was still a girl. The first time I entered the meeting for the Math and Science UIL team I was one of two girls there, and everyone was shocked to see me there, even the coaches. For some reason, even in today's society of "equalness" it was still abnormal to see a girl interested in STEM. I was dedicated to this subject and so i often challenged myself and found myself competing against my own male teammates, usually scoring higher than them of course. Eventually I became the treasurer of the club my Junior year, and Vice President my senior year.

I felt out of place in most of my STEM classes, and sometimes I even questioned myself, Can I really do this? Should I just become a teacher or a housewife like everyone else in my family? Everyday I am expected to live this life that everyone has had before me. But I don't want to do that and I want to be an innovator and leader and beat the odds and become a woman in STEM. I want to make a difference in young womens life who are going through this same problem to show them that it is possible despite the labels people put on you because of your activities and appearance! Sadly, this challenge will never be over but for now I have gotten over the fear of standing out and feeling out of place because I know bigger plans await me in the future of STEM.
ch15hann 6 / 11 3  
Nov 27, 2018   #2
I think you have a great story, but I would suggest actually really digging into your life to find a challenge you had to pull yourself up from. Because from this essay, it seems a bit cliche, because every highschooler goes through this. Maybe you can alter your topic saying the pressure you faced was intense and living up to people's expectations were so overwhelming. Do you see the difference? Instead talking of how you were expected to fit into the cheerleader stereotype. I know the deadline is very soon, and it may be too late to pick a different topic, but this one may be a bit risky.
OP smarquez16 3 / 3 2  
Nov 27, 2018   #3
Yes I completely understand! To answer this prompt I think my other essay might fit as well, I paired the other essay with and education barrier, do you mind taking a look and giving me your feedback on which question would be a better fit for the essay (this question, or the question on the linked thread) here is the link. https://essayforum.com/undergraduate/application-education-barrier-81710/

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