Discuss what challenges you faced, and what you ultimately learned from the experience.
So if you choose to respond to both of these questions, make sure to highlight distinct skills in each.
The good news is: finding your subject should be easy!
No matter who you are, though, remember this classic writing advice: show don’t tell. If you enjoy gardening, describe the plants, their qualities, and how you make your horticultural choices; are you drawn to the aesthetics or are you botanically inquisitive?
So, you claim that gardening, or Calculus, or painting is how you show your creative side. Similarly, if your subject is Calculus, show the reader how you sat in your dad’s office for six hours straight trying to calculate Pi on a three dozen sheets of paper using red crayon.
Maybe, as a camp counselor or church volunteer, you were in charge of choreographing and instructing a number for a group of seven-year-old hip hop dancers to perform.
Perhaps, on a Habitat for Humanity school trip, you became the head cook, whipping up everything from pancakes to chicken fajitas while galvanizing a team of sous chefs to pitch in.
This is an opportunity for you to showcase your ambition and highlight the kinds of challenges that engage and excite you. (No one is going to believe you if you just write, “I am resilient,” and leave it at that.) Lastly, reflect on how this barrier shaped who you are today, and what skills you gained through facing this educational barrier.
Beyond underscoring an academic interest, reflect on the personal qualities required for you to succeed. It will save you from accidentally humble-bragging your way through this assignment. If you have worked to overcome a disability, struggled in school because you have a different background than your peers, suffered financial hardship, or something along those lines, you can choose to write about option B. If you skipped question 4 or chose to write about option A, this question is a gift: a second chance to showcase your resilience in the face of obstacles.
If question 3 reminds you of question 2, you’re not alone.
Often, when we talk about a talent or skill that we have honed over the course of a lifetime, we’re inclined to describe it as an art — a creative extension of who we are.