Maybe, but only if it relates and changed your career plans, like others have mentioned. If it happened only a year ago, it might be hard to make the essay demonstrate how it changed your life. If it lead you to a career choice, like entering into healthcare or counseling it might be relevant. Personally, I wouldn't mention it. I've lost a lot of people in my life, but didn't include it in my college essays because it didn't seem to fit.
I preferred essays more relevant to college, and focusing on me.. If you grew up a refugee in South Africa and your entire community was pillaged when you were , then you immigrated in order to live the developed-nation dream, I would include it.. Not to lessen your friend's death, but just be careful that any essay is relevant to the admissions process.
You can always include something like losing him in a more personal essay, as an editorial or something for some other usage than college admissions. It's not about a "big event" or something tragic that makes an important essay, it's how you write about it that's important. Oftentimes, it's the details that make an essay stand out. First of all, I am not gonna say whether it is a good or bad idea to talk about your tragic background. Ultimately, the decision should be yours. Your life has always been yours, and we all know that you know the answer behind your inquiry.
You just want some reassuring clarification to validate your decision, which you have already made in your mind: But as a person who went through some tricky "curve-ball" trajectory of life, e. We came to the U. No one in my family had gone to college. My mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease when I was My father soon lost a job.
My older brother dropped out of high school in his junior year. We were on welfare and foodstamps for five years right before the end of my high school.
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Simply portraying yourself under the self-defeating aura of "self-victimization" mentality won't suffice. Worse, it may even backfire by advertently sending a wrong message to adcom about your mental makeup. Granted, this may sound easier than done.
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Just to give you an example from my own life experience and my college application essays I wrote back in , I focused on two life-defining events that symbolized my circumstance and thus defined my life trajectory. First, I talked about the very first meeting with a doctor at UCLA medical center where my mother was a patient. At the age of 15 or 16, I became the face of my family, the virtual gateway to the new culture of this country, as I was the liaison between the medical staff and my family.
Being overwhelmed, I had felt that I was developing a defeatist mentality. But a meeting with one of the doctors drastically changed my outlook on life. When the doctor sensed that I was huffing and puffing in the cross-fire battle of this new and overwhelming situation, he said something that really stoked the dormant fire within me, "Hey, why are you worried about? You are the face of your family! You speak English better than any other family member.
Sad Story included in Essay?
Dont ever feel let down. Come on! Instead, his whole message captured the essence of the kind of positive and resilient tenacity that would become the core of my formative years.
Instead of that kind yet superficial sign of condolence or a mere gesture of putting his arm around my shoulder, his fierce demeanor served to change my subconscious attitude for the situation and, eventually, for my own life. Second, I also talked about "the food stamp at local market" scene.
On the surface, my older brother was a loser who had decided to give up everything in his life - his education, opportunity, school, friends, and family trust - by simply walking away from what had kept him from being disintegrated. Yet, instead of juxtaposing my academic excellence and his decision to drop out of school, I tried to demonstrate his unconditional love for his family and me and his older-sibling responsibility by capturing a scene at a local market when he snatched the food stamps out of my trembling hands.
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Sensing that his little brother was hesitant to walk all the way to the front cash register to pay for grocery with the food stamps, hence damaging his self-confidence, my older brother, who was only 17, 18 at the time, ran across the cash booths and snatched the food stamps to personally pay for the grocery. Left empty-handed but saved from the vigilant eyes of judgment and superficial condolences, I took a long look at the back of my older brother who did not even flinch to care to notice his immediate surroundings.
Through this scene, I wanted to show that this whole process of overcoming adversity was a family reunion thing. It was a clear real-life demonstration of a huge billboard sign in the middle of LA downtown that had stood for some time: "A family who prays together stays together. I am sure that you have many wonderful, powerful, and heart-wrenching yet rewarding events in your life that have served to shape and mold your value system. Find one or two symbolizing events to narrate your reflection and introspection not only on the state of your family but also on the grand scheme of things in life.
I hope this helps. I haven't read the other posts so i hope i'm not being repetitive, but i found that telling my story which was rather unique and was responsible for a huge slump in my grades actually improved my chances of being accepted. One of my kids suffers from a chronic illness that had a huge impact on her adolescence. Her essay did not mention it. She wrote an impressionist essay about getting up in the morning at our house, no big substance, just an essay with nice style and vibe.
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However, since her illness had impacted attendance at high school, she wrote something brief in the supplemental essay, just a sketch about the moment of diagnosis at age 4. The guidance counselor wrote a note as well, which was no doubt more explicit, because, again, the pattern of her attendance required explanation. The issue of "using" life experiences, particularly those involving others, is a good one to ponder.
I would feel squeamish about it, and leave what is private, as private as possible. But that is just me. The other issue is whether or not to base one's identity on hardship.
3. I can never change the past.
This was what kept our daughter from writing an essay about difficult experiences. It wasn't a matter of what admissions would be impressed with: surely, overcoming obstacles is seen as a plus by admissions. But she did not want to base her identity on illness or any other hardship. Perhaps the real way to overcome what you have gone through is to not mention it at all. Or if it truly impacted your life, in a way that requires explanation, then either write something brief in the supplemental essay or have your guidance counselor inform them.
Just my own thoughts: others will differ. And certainly, writing about your hard experiences can be helpful for acceptance, if done right. I just think it is sort of emotionally unhealthy in some cases.
Recent Activity Would a creative writing topic be acceptable to write about Common App. Would a creative writing topic be acceptable to write about Common App Essay. Anyone down to look over my essays.
Essay Length. Should I make an astrology joke in my common app essay? Overcoming Depression in a College Essay? Please Help - Greatly would appreciate. College essay help?? Is this essay a good idea? Can I still use this essay? Fischer Hours Worked: 22 Major depression, also known as unipolar depression, is one of the most common mental illnesses. Over nine million adults each year suffer from depression. Major depression is more than a temporary state of being sad. Clinical depression is one of many mental disorders affecting 1 in 10 Americans today.