Focus your essay around the obstacle you've overcome. And don't make it a stodgy, impersonal thing like time management. Folks that give out scholarships do it not only to help someone else with their education, but to feel some noble purpose has been served. Kinda cynical, but true.
The person/people giving your scholarship don't want to hear about responsibility and direction. They want a story, Hollywood style, about a disadvantaged young man or woman who's struggling against the odds, and fighting valiantly to better themselves despite some horrid event in their life. They want to hear about the boy from the impoverished family who slept in a room with their parents and nine siblings and had to endure abuse, neglect, and near starvation, determined to make a better life for his children. They want to hear about the girl that was the target of racism, and told that she'd never be good enough for anyone because of her skin color, and who wants to think of her race not as a handicap, but as a badge of honor. They want to hear about the boy that was molested by a teacher at a young age, and has carried that horrible burden on his shoulders, but wants to restore his faith in the educational system by facing his fears and going to college. And they want that person to want to serve as a shining example to other disheartened, disadvantaged, disenfranchised people everywhere in order to rally the American spirit and make the world a better place--a real, lasting impact for good and for the betterment of humanity.
That's a tall order, right? Don't be discouraged, though. Every one of us has a Hollywood story somewhere in our lives, and it's waiting to be put into words. The obstacle doesn't have to be anything special or traumatic. Did you struggle with reading at a young age? Did your parents get divorced? Did a loved one die? Then you're proudly facing your weakness, and going to be a great literary scholar! You're going to go into psychology, and be the glue...
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