Everyone faces adversity. Every single person. There are different extremes though. One person’s adversity might be not getting into their dream college of UC Berkley or Stanford and another’s might be something more real, like losing a parent to cancer. (On a totally different note- not getting into your dream school is not the end of the world. It should be a motivation to work harder in the future. Also, you can go to any school and succeed. There are always options of transferring, graduate school, etc.)
Going through a rough patch in your life is no excuse for poor decisions. I personally know many people who have had a parent with cancer (the parents are fine now) and the kids went down the wrong path of life. They stopped caring about school, relationships with friends and family, and started caring too much about drugs and alcohol. Once you are down that path, it is very difficult to turn around and make the right life decisions. But, it’s definitely possible. One could take the help of family or friends or even seek for professional help, like a life coach or therapist. Group therapy also helps a lot; you get to sit with a group of people who are relatively going through a similar predicament or phase of life, which then makes it easier to open up about your feelings and your hardships in life. It’s also a great way to save money!