This prompt can be misleading in the sense that it may cause you to write an essay that doesn’t focus on showing the admissions office more of who you are. Avoid spending too much of your essay word count writing solely about the other person. One strategy could be to write your essay first without mentioning them, then write a couple of sentences on them and find where would be best to incorporate them afterwards (without sounding choppy). Be careful to find a balance between addressing the prompt and not letting your comments on your mentor take over.
Another point to consider is whether this mentor is already writing you a letter of recommendation. If so, it’s highly possible that they will already write about this challenge in their letter for you and end up making this essay somewhat repetitive. In that case, you may want to consider other people who played supporting roles for you.
Ironically, the most significant challenge involved with addressing this prompt, besides writing about your mentor, is coming up with an appropriate and significant challenge to center the essay around. If you have gone through personal issues that you don’t feel comfortable sharing, you are by no means obligated to write about them or to even choose this prompt.
On the other hand, if you need to spend more than a minute after reading the prompt questioning whether you have had a challenge worth writing about, we urge you to avoid arbitrarily choosing something and over emphasizing its significance to you.
For example, if you were involved in competitive groups such as Debate, DECA, FBLA, SkillsUSA, MUN etc., you could write generally about feeling grateful for the time and effort your advisors or mentors put into getting you through losses and failures inevitable to these types of clubs.
However, picking a more specific challenge that you have experienced instead will typically engage the readers more since you won’t need to write in abstract or vague terms. For example, you could write about how your mentor was able to calm you down right before an important competition as you were experiencing extreme anxiety or dealing with an intense family/personal issue. This could be a moment that really fits the theme of writing about someone providing support and wisdom through difficulty while still highlighting your participation in that activity.
Getting creative with the syntax of this essay could also greatly increase the originality. For example, you could write the essay in the form of a thank you letter addressing your person of importance, or you could write about them more abstractly before revealing who they are at the end of the essay. Think about how authors write forwards in their books as short inspirations for how to credit others for the help they received from them.
Also, if you happen to have had a struggle during high school that at any point impacted your ability to perform academically, this is a good space to provide a clarifying narrative (while avoiding making excuses).
StudentsReview Advice!• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio
• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach
• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→
• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→
• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→
• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→
• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→
• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→• Boston Apartment lease: Watch out!
Are you a student and about to sign the very first lease in your li... more→