It took me a while ...friends and sports
This introduction is unnecessary. Since you are limited in character/word count, and the reviewer needs a prompt response, open with a direct response instead. After the direct response, you can expand your explanation as much as the word allowance allows.
I have always felt that self-respect'
Start here immediately.
The second paragraph carries a heavy similarity with the " How would your parents... " prompt response. You cannot duplicate the responses. One of the essays will need to change its response content.
The final paragraph is the strongest presentation here.Try to find away to incorporate it into the first paragraph or, make it a second paragraph. The other option is to lengthen this paragraph to make it a stronger closing statement.