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Resiliency is something I've had to learn quickly growing up

JenniferB 1 / -  
May 17, 2015   #1
Describe a circumstance, obstacle, or conflict in your life and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. What did this teach you and how will that knowledge support your success at LWTech?

So far here is my rough draft. I'm having a hard time putting this together and would love some help.

Resiliency is something I've had to learn quickly growing up. When I was a young, my father lost his battle with respiratory cancer, leaving my mother left to raise three children on her own. After his death, taxes, loans, and bills had been left in my father's name now fell upon my mother to account for. With only a school teacher's salary, my mother filed for bankruptcy when I was entering junior high school. This made even the most simplistic items seem almost unattainable. My family quickly had to adapt to our new situation and conserve and use whatever resources we could find.

As each new school year approached, many of my peers would receive new clothes, supplies, and backpacks. I had to share with my siblings the money that was set aside for only the essentials that we would need for the upcoming year. I remember viewing countless nights my mother sat on the dining room table looking through past due bills and deciding what bills could wait and what had to be paid right away to risk not getting our service cancelled. I struggled to keep up appearances with my friends and peers and often spent moments cursing the life I had been given and why fate had stricken me so.

As my family continued to survive our circumstances, another huge blow came. I found out my college fund my grandfather had set aside for me had been drained to pay for all those years as a child. I was devastated and saw my dreams of having the college experience and a future career slip through my finger tips. I knew there had to be a way out of my current situation and that there had to be a way to make my dreams a reality.

ChristineB - / 113 55  
May 17, 2015   #2

The fundamentals of your essay are great. You've selected some very big challenges to highlight your resiliency, and I think anyone who reads this will feel for you.

I have a suggestion to make this a super special essay.

Since the essay is about how you dealt with a difficult obstacle, I suggest that you put even more focus on how you personally dealt with your father's death and the serious financial struggles your family faced as a result.

I think if I was writing this essay, I might start by describing how I used to take it for granted that I would have all the things you describe that you ultimately had to do without, like new clothes, supplies, and a backpack at the beginning of the school year. I'd talk about how I never even gave paying for college a second thought because I knew that my family was going to help with that.

Then, I'd introduce the tragedy of your father's death, and the financial problems your family faced as a result. I'd probably talk about my feelings during this time - embarrassment, sadness, even anger (especially about the use of your college fund). I bet your mom was under a lot of stress - you could talk about how hard it was to grow up with a mom who couldn't focus on "mom" things because she was just trying to survive.

Then, I'd talk about how I got through that time. I'd talk about any and all steps I took to get college paid for - after school jobs, scholarships, etc.. I'd talk about how you learned to ignore those earlier feelings of embarrassment (or any comments others might have made). I'd highlight how I came to feel forgiveness to my mom for using my college fund, and developed empathy for her situation.

Then, I'd wrap up the essay by saying how the whole experience has provided you with the maturity and resiliency you'll need to be a success, both in college and beyond.

I hope that has helped you!

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