Prompt 2: Experienced Failure

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Upside down rubber duck floating with head underwater

I Can Learn From Experience

The obstacle that you choose to write about should be something significant and not something like failing an exam. The best essays focus on something that you attempted to achieve over a period of time, but despite your best efforts, you met failure rather than success. 

For example, you could recount the time you ran for student council and were not elected. How did you react? Or maybe you were fired from a part-time job because you showed up late and did not have a well-developed work ethic at that time. How did you improve yourself?

What did you learn and why was it important?

No matter the challenge, setback or failure that you write about you will need to briefly recount the event and focus mostly on why things did not go as planned, what you learned from the experience, how you grew and how you changed. If you have since re-attempted the very thing you struggled with, and have found success during the process, that could be a great ending to the essay.

Do not use this essay as a way to explain transcript problems or make excuses for poor performance at school. Likewise, the essay does not have to be dark and negative; tell your story in a positive way so that it reveals something about you to admissions.

You are one good essay away from admission to your dream school!

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