Overcoming Adversity: Strength through Suffering | Allegheny College Undergraduate Application Essay

It was only a short bike ride, a temporary goodbye to a town I’d be leaving for a week or two, just there and back I told myself. Little did I know that on June 10, 2007, my life would completely change. The greatest obstacle I have had to overcome was thrust upon me. Although the coward could turn and walk away forever, I would never be the same.

As the rape disguised itself as something I was deserving of for two years, I entered a phase of extreme cynicism, bitterness, and depression. When girls giggled in the locker room about “losing their V-cards,” to which my only reply was “yeah, I still can’t ride a bicycle,” my peers failed to see the irony. Showers were long as I scrubbed my skin until it bled in an effort to cleanse myself of the impurity. My headphones spat nothing besides Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst, Elliott Smith, and other legendary depressing musicians. However, with maturity, a better education, and the influence of two extraordinarily strong women as my mentors, I have outgrown my episode of bitterness and cynicism.

Instead of asking myself “why me,” I force myself into asking “why not me?” Now, after two years of secrecy and almost five since the attack, I refuse to stay silent. My experience will no longer…

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