My Biggest Challenge Essay Example

One of the biggest challenges I've faced in my lifetime thus far occurred during my Junior year of high school. I signed up for a heavy academic load my first semester that I was well capable of finishing on a normal school year—four AP courses and one Honors course. At the same time, I played violin in the high school orchestra, swam on the varsity swim team, and played violin in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra- a prestigious orchestra near my hometown. I have always pushed myself as a student and for the most part, I excelled in academics. Unfortunately, my Junior year proved to be an exception to the common.

Within the first few weeks of the fall semester, my health began to deteriorate. I suffered from body aches, exhaustion, and several other symptoms that were both frightening and troublesome. My parents sought medical treatment from my pediatrician and specialists at my local Children's Hospital and even specialists from several hours away. It took several months to get a final diagnosis. During that time, I was hesitantly diagnosed with Crohn's Disease but not treated because of the uncertainty of what was wrong with me. After many more tests and doctor visits, I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder—Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

Over the course of the fall semester, although I worked diligently as much as my body would allow, I remained very weak and my grades suffered. I was able to reduce my schedule, but at the end of the year, I had two Ds and one F. I had been an honors student throughout my school career—over a 4.0 at the beginning of the year. I was devastated and humiliated to find myself struggling to stay afloat physically and academically, surrounded by peers who were healthy and excelling in school. As a younger student I would get mad at myself for not getting the highest grade or not doing well on a test. I was ashamed to receive those grades at the end of the semester. I thought my chances of getting into colleges were diminished and my hope of getting to enjoy a job I loved in the future started to dwindle as well. Through these struggles and fears during the school year I learned to relax a little and be easier on myself. I am now repeating my AP United States History class with a room full of juniors, so I'm reminded every day of my struggles from last year. But through my struggles of the year, I have learned to relax and enjoy myself while doing well in the class I am repeating.

Although I have always prided myself in being an independent overachiever, this ailment has taught me that I need to be willing to ask for help and support from those around me. I have also learned that I am allowed to fail and make mistakes without the catastrophical happening. As my health has been improving I have been able to get a job during the summer and I worked thirty to fifty hours per week. I am still not feeling 100% better but I am dong much better in my academics and am currently acing all of my classes. With what I have learned over the past year, I will be able to maintain a good balance between my academic load, my extracurricular activities, my part-time job, and my health and well being.


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