6 Overcoming Challenges College Essay Examples
At some point in our lives, we’ve all dealt with a hardship or obstacle we’ve had to overcome. For many colleges, this situation is something they may ask you to write about in your essays.
The purpose of the “overcoming challenges” essay prompt is for schools understand how you might handle the challenges of college. They also want to see how you grow, evolve, and learn when you face adversity. For this topic, there are many clichés, such as getting a bad grade or losing a sports game, so be sure to steer clear of those and focus on a topic that’s unique to you.
These overcoming challenges essay examples were all written by real students. For each example, we provide a first draft, what the writer can improve, and the revised version.
Example of the Overcoming Challenges Essay Prompt
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Overcoming Challenges Essay Example, First Draft
Thoughts on the Essay and How It Can Be Improved
The opening of this essay is engaging and really puts the reader in the author’s shoes, and the overall topic, which is focused on a specific, compelling challenge, clearly fits the prompt. To take this essay to the next level, the author could focus on things like eliminating clunky language, clarifying plot details, improving their diction, and polishing up the writing.
The first thing the author could do is employ more “showing” and less “telling” in their body paragraphs. The current introduction and conclusion are effective because they focus on specific “moments” or “examples” to tell their story and make their points. However, the body paragraphs rely much more heavily on summary. It’s necessary to include some background information and other expository elements, however the body paragraphs could still use more specific details and examples.
In particular, the author should keep in mind that the average reader doesn’t know much, if anything, about a dojang. This means that their claims about their dojang family and what competing means to them need to be backed up by examples. What sorts of things do they do with your teammates? How have they built such strong bonds? The most effective way is to show the audience, not just assert that these bonds exist.
Similarly, the description of the work they put in to become a coach and the skills they gained will seem pretty abstract to the average reader. To bring their personal effort and transformation to life, the author should add in more details to describe what they’ve accomplished. Then, they can show the reader what elements of coaching keep them going despite the doubters. By adding in more details and examples to “show” the reader how they became a coach and what keeps them going, they’ll give the reader a vivid understanding of the world of the dojang and, by extension, what motivates them and what skills they have.
Finally, the concluding lines could use a bit of tweaking. The current last sentence doesn’t quite fit the essay’s “big picture” idea. It could be revised to broaden out to focus on the author and their problem-solving skill, not just what their dojang currently looks like. This critical space should be used to remind the admissions committee of what they’ve learned through this experience. One way to do this is for the author to think about what they want to demonstrate about themself to their potential future university. What is it that motivated them to solve this problem? How will this same time of problem-solving approach serve them in the future (at college and beyond)?
To bring this essay to the next level, the author should focus on “showing not telling” throughout their essay by including more specific examples in the body paragraphs; then, they should turn their attention to their closing sentence or two.
The Revised Essay, Final Draft
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