Something Wonderful

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?


Crouched behind my yellow closet door, hearing glass shatter and walls banged, I kept hoping that something wonderful was about to happen. My parents were arguing over my father locking me in my room again. Whenever my mom was not home, he would force me to stay there for hours while he watched the Heat game downstairs. We lived in the suburbs of Orlando, and I can still remember watching the neighborhood kids ride their bikes from my window, wishing my mom would hurry home. "Always believe something wonderful is about to happen” she would say, constantly reminding me to have hope in even the worst situations.

My parents fought about my father's negligence often. That's how I learned phrases like "tax fraud" and "head of household". I remember learning the word "divorce" one night after hearing him shout it before storming out of the house. My mom said she was unsure if he was coming back, but I knew he was. I knew something wonderful was going to happen.

Months passed without any word from him. He emptied our bank accounts and left my mom penniless, forcing her to start working two jobs to support her four children. This meant we had to fend for ourselves at home, but between my 17-year-old sister with Asperger’s who requires...

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