Setback or Ethical Dilemma Essay

flowers33

New Member
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Jun 22, 2022
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Hi everyone, I'm a c/o 2027 applicant and I would like to hear the opinions of some of you here. For USAFA, one of the prompts requires me to describe a setback or an ethical dilemma, then describe what I did and all. Since I could choose to write about either a setback or ethical dilemma, which seems more appealing? A setback would show resilience in character, and an ethical dilemma would show integrity. I'm unsure which to choose. Let me know what you all think!
 

FlyFalcon

'26, FFS (NWP 2021)
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Jan 4, 2020
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I personally didn't really have either situation so I went with a hard choice. It was a heart felt story. It's really the content and about answering the question. Tell a vivid story that you want to express your character.
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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I think many people do not realize they encounter ethical dilemmas more often than they think. Magical thinking is involved.

Have you ever remained silent or done nothing while something inappropriate was going on, perhaps bullying, offensive comments or jokes, lying, backing up a buddy who is in the wrong, social media abuse, cheating, rule-breaking (serious kind)… I think back to my own high school days to the peer pressure and pack mentality that occasionally kicked in, and I was paralyzed, feeling bad about something going on but not wanting to be the one who broke from the group and risked being unpopular for objecting, and rationalizing my way out of feeling guilty. I wince still at memories of my less courageous self, though I comfort myself that all those mistakes and regrets for actions not taken have taught me how flawed a human I am and to be better by doing better.

Young people on the cusp of adulthood are eager to embrace all the privileges and pleasures of adulthood. Part of the deal is owning your actions and paying attention to your moral compass, recognizing lack of action is a decision in itself, and being willing to speak up for what is right.

Moral Dilemmas do not have to be movie-sized events. They can be small things, and writing about failure and what you have learned about your own human frailty can be an impactful, honest essay.
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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Apr 9, 2017
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6,281
I think many people do not realize they encounter ethical dilemmas more often than they think. Magical thinking is involved.

Have you ever remained silent or done nothing while something inappropriate was going on, perhaps bullying, offensive comments or jokes, lying, backing up a buddy who is in the wrong, social media abuse, cheating, rule-breaking (serious kind)… I think back to my own high school days to the peer pressure and pack mentality that occasionally kicked in, and I was paralyzed, feeling bad about something going on but not wanting to be the one who broke from the group and risked being unpopular for objecting, and rationalizing my way out of feeling guilty. I wince still at memories of my less courageous self, though I comfort myself that all those mistakes and regrets for actions not taken have taught me how flawed a human I am and to be better by doing better.

Young people on the cusp of adulthood are eager to embrace all the privileges and pleasures of adulthood. Part of the deal is owning your actions and paying attention to your moral compass, recognizing lack of action is a decision in itself, and being willing to speak up for what is right.

Moral Dilemmas do not have to be movie-sized events. They can be small things, and writing about failure and what you have learned about your own human frailty can be an impactful, honest essay.
This is such an impact if post!!

There are so many ways where we can DO better. BE better. And doing nothing is also doing something.
 

skyfox

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Apr 30, 2022
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37
Pick the option that most resonates with you regarding a real-life event and how you responded. Those reviewing this essay will not assign more weight to one option than the other, what they care about is how you reacted and how well you articulate your reaction (i.e., how well written it is).
 
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