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Application Essay

by Em16


I'm filling out an application and one of the questions they ask is:

Describe a non-academic challenge that you have overcome in the past 2-3 years. What did you do? What did you learn?

This was my answer:

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s is always a strange and scary process, but for me the most difficult part was the frequent blood draws.

I have an intense fear of needles. My yearly immunizations have always been an object of dread, involving nauseating anxiety, tears, hyperventilation, dizziness, white knuckles and concerned looks from the nurse. Even my younger sister would call me a scaredy-cat.

Unfortunately, in the first year after my diagnosis, I had to get my blood drawn frequently to check how effectively my medication was regulating my hormone levels. To stay calm in the face of the waves of fear, I had to develop coping mechanisms. Staring intently at the wall, thinking distracting thoughts, and clutching tightly to the armrest were all helpful in anchoring me. If my anxiety was really running wild, I would take deep breaths and count to ten. Above all, I never let myself look at my arm while the needle was inside of it.

I had always had the tendency to imagine awful possibilities. I would imagine bleeding out and dying, or the needle getting stuck, or leaving me with a jagged scar. But now, I was so familiar with the routine that I immediately dismissed those fears as unreasonable. They no longer held any power over me.

While I didn’t enjoy the experience of getting my blood drawn so regularly, it did teach me an important lesson: the dangers of the imagination are much worse than the dangers of reality. Now, whenever I feel afraid, instead of spiraling into a panic, I rely on my coping mechanisms, and remind myself that whatever is going to happen, it’s probably won’t be as bad as I imagine it will be. 


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Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:15 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Alrighty, I don't think I've reviewed anything of this particular type before, but I thought this sounded interesting, so here we are.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I'm filling out an application and one of the questions they ask is:

Describe a non-academic challenge that you have overcome in the past 2-3 years. What did you do? What did you learn?


Well that one is a rather personal question there.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s is always a strange and scary process, but for me the most difficult part was the frequent blood draws.

I have an intense fear of needles. My yearly immunizations have always been an object of dread, involving nauseating anxiety, tears, hyperventilation, dizziness, white knuckles and concerned looks from the nurse. Even my younger sister would call me a scaredy-cat.


Hmm, I think you do a decent job of almost "setting the scene" there. Its a good place to start. You immediately state what the challenge was and then you immediately focus on why exactly it was even more of a challenge than usual. I think that's done very well. Rather than talking about it generally, you make it a bit more specific and personal to you and that can get the point across rather well here.

Unfortunately, in the first year after my diagnosis, I had to get my blood drawn frequently to check how effectively my medication was regulating my hormone levels. To stay calm in the face of the waves of fear, I had to develop coping mechanisms. Staring intently at the wall, thinking distracting thoughts, and clutching tightly to the armrest were all helpful in anchoring me. If my anxiety was really running wild, I would take deep breaths and count to ten. Above all, I never let myself look at my arm while the needle was inside of it.


Hmm...so here we move onto the second part of the question. I think that transition is done nicely. The explanation for why the disease makes you need this frequently is also a helpful addition. This is flowing along rather nicely here.

I had always had the tendency to imagine awful possibilities. I would imagine bleeding out and dying, or the needle getting stuck, or leaving me with a jagged scar. But now, I was so familiar with the routine that I immediately dismissed those fears as unreasonable. They no longer held any power over me.

While I didn’t enjoy the experience of getting my blood drawn so regularly, it did teach me an important lesson: the dangers of the imagination are much worse than the dangers of reality. Now, whenever I feel afraid, instead of spiraling into a panic, I rely on my coping mechanisms, and remind myself that whatever is going to happen, it’s probably won’t be as bad as I imagine it will be.


Hmm...that is a very interesting conclusion to draw from an experience like that. I don't know if I've seen that before, but I think its a powerful way to end. You don't simply describe overcoming a fear, you describe how you translated that fear into more general terms and got to the true root cause of where that fear came from. I think that combines to make a truly powerful statement there.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, those questions there have certainly been answered. Its concise but i think you provide everything you need in this piece. Its powerful and addresses the questions pretty well I think, going perhaps even deeper than what was expected. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:41 am
AilahEvelynMae wrote a review...



Hi there, Ellie-Mae here for a quick review!

Wishing you a happy day/evening/morning/night/whatever is applicable to your part of the world! First off, please remember that my reviews are my own opinions :) I’ll give honest feedback, but nothing at all is intended to hurt or discourage you in any way at all! <3 So, without waiting any longer, let’s get right into it and digest the spectabulous piece of literary work!

Thank you for writing this. I'm happy to give some feedback. So, maybe if you had a sentence or two explaining what Hashimotos Thyroiditis is? That might help the viewer understand. It also depends who this is for. Be cautious of the age and career level of the person reading it.

Maybe explain what distracting thoughts you though? Explain what was going on in your mind?

This is very well written :) has a great flow! Sending you a virtual hug!

Ellie Mae





"And what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland