Summer Seminar Question


5-Year Member
Sep 17, 2017
I’m currently in the process of finishing my Summer Seminar application to USAFA and had a question. Under the application it lists “Character - Do you have any personal life experiences where you have overcome adversity or challenges that have shaped you into the person you are today? (3000 characters max)”. I am confused... do I have to fill this part out? I can’t think of any real challenges or adversity I’ve faced that are worth noting.

Am I reading it wrong, and should I try to think of something to write? Or is this just a space for applicant who feel they have some significant adversity or challenge to point out?

Thanks in advance for any help.
If you dig deep, you can find something that has been challenging for you: have you worked a job (DS used this one...he is in a very affluent private school, many kids have nice brand new cars. He had to work to save for his. And he wrote about how that was a good thing bc he appreciates what he has bc he worked, planned and saved for it)? Have u had to do something for a teams benefit that was hard for you (wrestle at a lower weight means not eating what you for the season...including thanksgiving and Christmas...but shows your a disciplined person, a ‘team first’ person)? What about foregoing things with friends in order to transport siblings, or care for an older adult?

Think of things u really aren’t fond of, things u don’t like. Or things that have been challenging to fit into you life. Absent really obvious challenges (homeless, for example) that seem like what I think u are thinking they are looking for, there are challenges even if you feel very blessed.

Everything shapes who we are. Think about something that has felt negative to you that you have done anyway and how it’s really a good thing...for your character for example.

That’s how DS approached it! One idea for you to ponder! Good luck, he had an AMAZING time at his Summer Seminar (although it was USNA, not USAFA).
It's a good idea to figure out how you are going to answer this essay question now because it may show up again in your MOC applications and in your full application to the Academy. Everybody has had some challenge to overcome at some point.
Thanks for the advice! I was just a little confused but now I think I’ve figured out something that will make a good essay.