Personal Blog

How I Overcame The Biggest Challenge (So Far) In My Life - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I wanted to speak about my biggest challenge so far in my life and how I overcame it. Everyone encounters challenges in their day to day life, and everyone of course has different ones. I thought that it would be really interesting for me to talk about what I believe is my biggest one yet. I’ll admit that the following blog post is actually a college essay I wrote for the University of Southern California, but out of all my college essays, I honestly think that I was the most truthful and genuine with this one. I really liked the prompt they gave me and I spoke about my true feelings. I put a lot of effort into this essay which is why I thought it was worth sharing on this blog. As everyone has different challenges that they have had to deal with growing up, let me know whether or not you have gone through a similar challenge to me or whether your challenges are completely different since I am always interested in hearing what you have to say. Like I said, this is a college essay and so it’s going to sound much more like a story. Without further ado, let’s get started!

“I sat upstairs in my office doing my Biology homework, frustrated that I just could not wrap my head around the difference between a prokaryotic cell and a eukaryotic cell. I looked at my “To Do” list on my computer and sighed when I realized that after I was done with my Biology homework, I had a Math test to study for and an essay for my Geography class that I had to write. I then opened up my Google Drive and went to the folder where I had stored all of my screenplays, novels, short stories, and poems. I opened the google document that had the screenplay I was currently working on that was titled “Curtains Closed” which revolved around three different scenarios. The first scenario is about a couple who want to get married. The couple consists of a very rich man and a very rich woman who are deeply in love. The rich man’s parents, however, want the rich man to marry a very poor woman who he does not love. The second scenario consists of a white man who witnesses a black man commit a horrible crime. When the white man tells the police about what he just saw, they assume that he’s being racist. The third and final scenario consists of a gay bully who picks on his classmates. When his classmates tell the school principal, the principal believes that the classmates are being homophobic. With these three scenarios, the story revolves around a dystopian society in which society becomes so advanced and so accepting of everyone that people cannot stand an accusation against a black person, a homosexual person, or a poor person due to the fact that these people were all victims of discrimination years ago. 

I was currently working on the second scenario, and was about to write the dialogue between the white man and the police when I realized that I couldn’t afford to. I had so many assignments to finish off, and very little time to do them in. With all my strength, I closed the google document and proceeded to open my Biology textbook again. I read the explanation for the difference between a prokaryotic cell and a eukaryotic cell, and then began to read the table that outlined the similarities between them. After I finished, I realized none of the words I had just read had gotten inside of my head and that I was still at square one. I don’t know why I couldn’t read my textbook, but I did know that I couldn’t get the thought of my screenplay being put into a real movie out of my mind. At that point, I was exhausted. I was exhausted from having to sit down and learn something that I had absolutely no interest in. All I wanted to do was go to my Google Drive, open my screenplay and continue it because I knew that writing and working on my own projects was what would make me the happiest. Despite knowing this, I couldn’t deny the fact that school and my grades were important. There was no way I could just ignore all of the assignments and homework my teachers gave me and only focus on my screenplays since it would be disrespectful to my parents who are paying so much money for me to go to school. Without being said, it would also be extremely ungrateful of me since many children around the world do not even have the opportunity to go to school and wish they could.

In that moment, I had a choice to make. I could either completely disregard all of my schoolwork and tests coming up, and instead choose to focus on my writing and my own projects, and be happy, but at the same time show complete inappreciativeness of the education that I have been fortunate enough to receive, or I could prioritize all my assignments, homework, tests, and only focus on my schoolwork every hour of the day. After thinking about it some more, I realized that neither would truly make me happy. Even though I loved writing, I didn’t want to disappoint my parents or my teachers by showing unthankfulness for all the help they have provided me with regarding my academics. At the same time, however, I knew I would become completely depressed if I stopped writing and put all of my strength and energy into subjects I honestly didn’t have any interest in. I then had the choice to sacrifice both, meaning that I would spend half of my time working on my own projects and the other half of my time working on my school assignments. However, this still didn’t seem to make me happy because I’ve always been someone who believes that even a second of someone’s day should not be wasted on something he or she doesn't care about. 

I needed to find a way to become interested in the subjects I was studying at school, so that I didn’t feel as if I was wasting my time in school or on the weekends when I would be studying for upcoming tests and quizzes. I wanted to find a way to love my subjects as much as I loved my writing, and that’s when I got the idea to incorporate my subjects and my love for writing. I decided that I would begin to look for inspiration for screenplays in the subjects I studied at school, so that I would want to read more about that subject and would be able to continue my writing as well. I decided to open my biology book another time, and the book immediately opened to page 17 that was titled “Stargardt disease.” This disease causes damage in the retina of the eye and damages proper vision. After reading about this some more, I got the idea to write a screenplay in which a man who has this disease mistakenly thinks that a woman is seductively touching her breast whilst staring at him, when in reality she is just buttoning her shirt and he just happens to be in her sight. This man, believing that the woman is sending him signals, decides to rape her. I became really intrigued in this idea, and I now know so much about this disease and love reading about it because I am thankful for the idea it gave me. I have also gotten inspiration from my Geography class. In October, we started learning about global climate. We were introduced to shortwave radiation which is a term used to describe the radiant energy emitted from the sun, and longwave radiation which is a term used to describe the radiant energy emitted from the earth. With these two terms, I thought of a film titled “Shortwave Longwave” which is about a couple whose names are Sun and Earth. Sun is overly obedient towards Earth and this act of obedience would symbolize how the sun revolves around earth. After deciding to incorporate my academics with my own projects, I have become much happier as I do not feel that I am wasting my time when doing neither of these things. Writing my screenplays now helps me memorize my school curriculum, and studying for tests and doing homework helps me get ideas for films and encourages me to read more about that topic. “

Shreya Sachdev