So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people?
Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.
My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.
My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.
Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.I've also compiled an enormous list of 100 actual sample college essays from 14 different schools.Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work.Here are six of these short essays answering the 2014 prompt: "Tell us about the best gift you've ever given or received." I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work.Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site.My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos.With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised.Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back. More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before."Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it? I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try.I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness.