Common App

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?

5. you’re taught to be an object

Imagine, you’re a fourth-grade body on a rare 100 degree day in San Franciscoin a classroom filled with pre-pubescent laughter, occasional voice cracks, and the crinkling of notes being passed. A smile spreads across your face, no matter how much you try to hide it. (You had completed the Spanish worksheet perfectly and can’t contain your excitement for your teacher to see). At your raised hand, her harsh voice cuts across the classroom so that the laughter stops. She says your name and then:

“I am looking down your shirt and I see a valley.”

“Go To The Office Now.”

4. boys are mean when they like you

You’re in a sixth-grade discussion now, and the class has been split into two sections: girls and boys. The girls don’t talk as loudly as they used to. Your teacher begins to speak,

“Girls, we know a few of you have complained about boys saying mean things.”

You nod your head fast and hard. The boy who sits next to you in math had called you a word that morning that you weren’t allowed to say.

“But remember, when they call you names or tease you, it means they have a crush on you.”

3. locker room talk

It’s your first week of high school now. The boys smell a little less and their voices have...

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