Ultimately, you should try to choose to write about a failure based more on the lessons you learned from it than the failure itself. The second is harder to discuss because you’re ashamed about it: you weren’t there for a friend when they needed you, and consequently, you ruined a friendship.
As you are deciding which failure to discuss, look for overlap in your notes.
Since we obviously cannot do that verbally with you here, we’ll do the next best thing: provide you with the brainstorming prompts we would give you in a consultation.
Below, you’ll find these—try to come up with at least some response to each one.
If making mistakes is part of the journey to ultimate success, it is perfectly reasonable for you to still be in the process of reaching your goal, and speak about the process you’ve made towards your goal instead of a final result.
The first step to writing any good personal essay is to put some serious thought into what you will write, and the best way to do this is to force yourself to come up with a handful of possible essay topics.
The key here is to make use of your brainstorming notes—the more notes you have, the easier this step will be.
So that they stand out, highlight all of the “failures” you enumerated over the course of the first three prompts, paying special attention to the listed lessons you were able to pull from each one. The first is the story of how you were late to ballet class (and thus allows you to discuss your most substantial extracurricular activity), but it doesn’t provide much of a platform for discussing a major life lesson (you learned how important it is to be punctual, and that’s about it).
Of course, if there is a particular story about yourself that you wish to share that involves what you consider to be a major, life-defining failure that you think has played an important part in forming you as you are today, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about it.
In such a scenario, the prompt becomes similar in nature to the first personal essay prompt on the Common App. Like we said, the lines differentiating all of the personal essay prompts from each other blur a bit.