What about the second option to the question, “…Or a problem you would like to solve,”? I feel that discussing what I would like to do (improve secondary education in the sciences within third world countries) is more reflective of me than a personal story. How would I incorporate a personal story when talking about the future or is it OK if I don’t include one? As of now I’ve identified a problem and how I’m going to solve it by earning a college education. My solution is pretty unique so I don’t think they will get bored but are they looking specifically for personal narratives?
Avoid slipping into clichés or generalities. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself.