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'my sister is bulimic' - University of Michigan essay topic

worldbound10 4 / 18  
Oct 15, 2009   #1
I'm extremely nervous about my admissions essay for the University of Michigan because the deadline is November 1st and I am really struggling! The question I chose was: "Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react?"

The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about admissions essays was living with my sister, who has been battlling bulimia (for almost the entirety of my life) and the impact that it's had on myself and my family. I've had a difficult relationship with my sister and I can't think of anything that has had more of an impact on my life.

I'm wondering if this is a bad topic to use though? Is it too personal or too heavy? I'm struggling with the writing, not sure how to go about it. I especially am unsure on how to answer how I "resolved it" because it hasn't been resolved... Also, the last question is difficult to apply here.

I apologize for the length of this post. I'm just really looking for some guidance!!! There were 2 other options I could choose for this essay, one about a local concern, and one about a piece of literature that I've read. I've thought about changing my essay topic, but for some reason I am set on this. Help!

brucexu - / 1  
Oct 15, 2009   #2
First, I think writing about how you resolve the difficult relationship with your bulimia sister is a good topic,at least potentially. Through this essay, you can demonstrate that you are a mature and caring person, which of course is the type of person that adcoms find adorable.But, please ask yourself " do I really learn sth positive from this "difficult relationship". Does this experience instill me with virtues or some new perspectives of life, or does it just make me feel miserable. If your answer is the second one, you'd better change the topic.

To answer how you "resolve it", you can write how you help you sister( For example, how you assist the medical treatment with your warmth and encouragement as a sibling) and thus come to empathize with your sister (you understand your sister,then you are feeling better yourself,which is also how you resolve this problem) .

To answer how to react to the similar situation in the future, you can say that you have become more mature and understanding than before,so when others are having problems, you will help them with understanding and empathy.

This topic is a good one as long as you write it in a meaningful and moving way. I advice you to read a Harvard essay whose topic is quite similar to yours:"Tears and Fears".Sorry that I don't know how to paste the link here but I think you can get it from the Internet or bookstore. I'm sure you can learn of lot from it.

Don't panic.Be confident with yourself and start writing.Good luck!:)

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