Admissions committees will not react well if it appears you are hiding or avoiding a topic. Showing how you successfully rebounded from setbacks bodes well for you. But, surprisingly, we often see sloppily written essays with typos, poor grammar, addressed to a different university and any other number of mistakes that could have easily been fixed.
Be sure to ask others to proofread these essays for you.
Whatever required format, your essay should be thoughtful, concise, compelling, and interesting.
Remember, admissions officers read hundreds of personal essays.
Essay prompts typically ask applicants to discuss their previous experience, future professional goals, and how the program can help them in achieving those objectives.
The essay gives the applicant the chance to articulate these goals and display strong writing skills.
They may not have time, but most faculty are quite willing to help their former students out if given sufficient notice.
Admissions committees deal with countless stacks of applications: faceless GRE scores and GPAs.
Remember to tailor your essay to each school and the faculty committee that reviews your application.
But first, take note of what kind of essay is being requested of you.