3 Answers

Janice Kirn-Sottilaro Points0
There are many different thoughts when it comes to generating a college essay. From my perspective, I like clients to share either happy or negative experiences as long as they can address what they have taken away from either one.

If perhaps a student lost a parent in grade 10, it is helpful to share the experience with an admissions committee so they are aware of a possible drop in grades but also, to be able to see how one dealt with a truly heartbreaking situation; showing growth and reassurance they will be able to handle the pressures associated with college.  If one has grown from and can express how a negative experience has changed and matured them then it can be a good topic for an essay.

Although not a negative experience, I can share an example of growth with you - one of my students wrote about visiting several doctors and finally being told that she was bipolar. She could have put a highly negative slant on her essay, but did not. Instead, she spoke of her difficulties and how being bipolar affected her every day, and then she shared how she had changed, how her daily life changed as a result of now understanding herself. It was one of the most impressive essays I have read to date. If you can approach your essay in this way, you are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Luck!
Jon Semcer Points0
Negative experiences can show personal growth and be a true learning experience. Too often students think that the essay has to be an event or an experience that was all very positive. Our lives and the events we live through or the people we encounter are not always positive. Those events and people shape our character, our feelings, and our viewpoints. Writing about them helps the reader of your application to get to know you better and gives them insight as to what makes you unique. Think before you write. Discuss your possible essay with your counselor and a trusted friend. Go with your feelings ---make sure you get the words right. All the best to you for a great year!
Jennifer L. Severini-Kresock Points0
It is OK as long as the student can show a positive lesson learned and an experience that makes the student who he or she is today. The tone should be as positive as possible and SHOW rather than TELL of the experience.

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