The Common App only slightly revised this prompt by emphasizing less on “failure”. Instead the prompt now focuses on any incident applicants found challenging, which gives students more flexibility to choose what to write on. This could be a result of the feedback they received from students and counselors who perhaps found it difficult to identify with failure , as it is much harsher than a setback or challenge that many more students would have experienced in high school. See how the profiles we put together in this package above shared their experiences of overcoming obstacles in the application essay.
Avoid slipping into clichés or generalities. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself.