What was the most difficult time in your life, and why? How did your perspective on life change as a result of this difficulty?
You may recall how embarrassing it was to deal with pimples on your face at adolescence. Well, you can imagine how annoying it can be to have pimples at the age of 24. My line of work demands I dress professionally, but nothing can dress the pimples caused by adult-onset acne. I did not have a problem growing up with the condition because it responded positively to the over the counter medications that I was using, but at 24, nothing seems to work. I have tried a myriad of regimens and to be honest, although I have lived with the condition for the better part of my life, stepping out of my house with a face riddled with pimples does not get easier.
Most people associate acne with a tarnished image, but its effects stretch far beyond the observable aspects of one’s life. For one, one’s confidence levels take a hit. It is not easy for a 24-year-old to stand before his peers with a ‘teen problem.’ While acne is one of the most common dermatological conditions, it carries considerable stigma, which stems from the popular belief that it is hygiene-related. I have had my fair share of low moments caused by the condition ranging from avoiding important social events to inability to build beneficial relationships. The struggle is real, and every breakout presents a challenge both to my image and confidence levels.
Being different, I have come to learn, makes one stronger. It may not always feel like it, but eventually, one develops a defense mechanism against negativity and stigma. The challenge of being different from my friends who would more often than not overlook me when playing basketball propelled me to put more effort in academics. The biggest lesson in facing a constant challenge is that one learns how to deal with emotions effectively. I also learned that the way that others treat you is determined by how you feel about yourself. Life is about liking one’s self to get others to like you.
Ask anyone battling adult acne what they would not do to rid their faces of annoying pimples, and there is literally nothing they wouldn’t do. Although studies show that 75% of adults deal with acne at some point in life, nothing could prepare one for the effects it carries. I wouldn’t say I have become comfortable with the condition, but my interaction with people within my obviously small circle of friends has taught me a lot about life. Dealing with this challenge has arguably shaped how I get through each day, whether I am having a bad day at work, or I am having serious misunderstandings with family. The fact that the condition emerged early in my life has inoculated me against stress caused by stigma. These have been formative times for my development and transition into adulthood, and I wouldn’t have become the person I am today had I not endured these challenges.
Feedback on this essay.
- Overall, a relatively good essay.
- Strong opening that draws you in and keeps your attention.
- Good transition from the opening to the body.
- Answers the essay prompt in question.
- Handles the topic from a unique angle.
- Not a woe-is-me story.
- Tells how the writer overcame his challenges with acne.
Opportunities for improvement.
- Not to diminish the painfulness of acne, but perhaps a different challenge (other than acne) would work better for this essay.
- There were a number of third-person pronouns with references to “one” or “one’s self”. To make the essay more personable, I’d suggest replacing these pronouns with I, me, my, etc., where it makes sense.
- There were also references to statistics and other people’s views. I’d suggest going a step further with a story, detailing a specific incident when acne was a real issue in his life (other than not picked to play basketball with friends).
- The closing paragraph is a bit long. To make it stronger, we can break it up and move everything from, “Dealing with this challenge has arguably shaped how I get through each day…” to a new paragraph, so it’s the new closing.
What’s the verdict? Scholarship or not?
Probably not. There are so many other challenges that students face each day, and I simply don’t view acne at the same level.
Find a worthy challenge to focus on in your essay. The challenge doesn’t have to be life altering or devastating. However, it’s best to stay away from challenges that are viewed as vain, unremarkable, or everyday issues.