University of California - Berkeley
Me vs. Peanut Butter
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
As my tongue swelled, I realized — hold on, this might be a peanut butter cookie. Immediately, I began to panic — “I’m too young to die! I haven’t even gone to college yet!” Then I reminded myself. “Stay calm. Getting worried won’t help.” Instead, I methodically responded: keep yourself together, take medication, alert others, stay cautious until the danger has passed.
My preparation had paid off. Ever since I was born, I’ve been allergic to peanuts. When I was younger, accidentally eating them was a sure way to end up in the emergency room. Even now, I occasionally slip up, ingest something that I didn’t expect to have peanuts, and get to feel the painful sensations of an allergic reaction. However, while these reactions are still threatening, I’ve taken steps to subdue them. Educating myself about my allergy, I became aware that epinephrine is needed in a severe reaction to prevent anaphylactic shock, but antihistamines are sufficient for mild cases; in the name of preparedness, I began to carry both an EpiPen and Benadryl, to deal with either reaction. Meanwhile, practice remaining calm has made me better at staying level headed under stress. This is essential for thinking clearly and determining how serious a reaction is....
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