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Perspective Essay

PancakedPancaked Posts: 2,942Registered User Senior Member
edited December 2010 in Rice University
The quality of Rice's academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice?


I've written probably 12 essays for my applications, including Ivy essays and such. And I simply cannot write this one. The Word document on my computer where I've started is called Rice_UGH.

Anyone have advice...? I don't even know how to describe my "perspective"... or how it will contribute to Rice.... Sigh. I don't really know what they are even asking me to write about. My cultural traditions can be summed up as typical, uninteresting, and certainly not representative of my personality.
Post edited by Pancaked on

Replies to: Perspective Essay

  • rezitinasdnahrezitinasdnah Posts: 20Registered User New Member
    Sorry! I know exactly how you feel, i've been fighting this one for a long time.

    It's harder than other essays because, unless you are a lucky duck with an interesting background, there's no obvious way to proceed.

    But, eventually you'll have an idea - I had mine at 5 AM three nights ago.

    Actually, the question isn't all that demanding - the way I read it, they asked for my perspective. The culture thing was just a suggestion. Just brainstorm what your perspective is and come up with a way to frame it. How will other Rice students characterize you? Will you're presence on campus make for a better Rice experience for the other students? That's what Rice wants to know. Think about what Students you've met so far that have inspired you or taught you an important lesson, and then think about whether or not you can do the same for others.

    Then write about it!

    Good luck!
  • LCB334LCB334 Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    I'm stuck on this topic too. Originally, I wrote an essay describing three unique quirks about me and my personality. Then, I reinterpreted the topic & considered using an essay about a community service experience. Now, I don't know which one to use.
  • Swifty3652Swifty3652 Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    The key words in the prompt, imo, are "unique" and "contribute."

    Whichever way you choose to answer this prompt, make sure it will show the admissions officers how you set yourself apart from other applicants. How are you yourself unique? Think about writing about experiences that only YOU have had.

    Also, how will you benefit the student body if the admissions committee offers you admission? How will you be a proponent for change? I don't think they're looking for SPECIFIC actions, but rather the special mindset that you will bring.

    My final tip is this: make the essay memorable. Give your essay a personal voice that is distinctive.

    Good luck to all!! :)
  • janeyyetjaneyyet Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    Just to give you an idea, my perspective essay told the story of how I finally learned how to drive as a senior in high school. Even though everyone eventually learns how to drive, it has always left me PETRIFIED until one day my best friend made me realize how debilitating my fear has become. This sudden realization cause me to finally take the wheel and overcome my fear. I then related this situation to facing new opportunities at Rice, and spoke about how I would not let fear overwhelm me; rather, I would embrace opportunities and the success that comes with hardwork and focus.

    I added a bit of humor, and voila. Simple, and it works. And because I told a story, its not just me rattling off different characteristics that make me unique, which would be pretty boring.
  • Owl2014Owl2014 Posts: 141Registered User Junior Member
    OK, here's a thought. You clearly want to get into Rice since you found CC, signed up for an account, and created this thread. You already have a level of ambition higher than most applicants. Just talk about your ambitions and how you will get involved in college life... As you may know, the colleges at Rice are literally completely student run, and in order to keep it that way, Rice needs to admit highly motivated and ambitious students who can/will run them. If you wanna shoot me a draft, I'll go over it... still 11 days left of winter break!
  • OttolineOttoline Posts: 947Registered User Member
    Really enjoyed these helpful posts -- What about thinking of a setting where you feel your best and figure out what you do that makes things flow. Are you the person who helps organize events, who gets things started, who reassures people who haven't done their best, who helps keep everyone on schedule, who's ultra-patient in the lab, who thinks of alternative solutions when things don't work out? This is a great chance to show Admissions that beyond your great grades, scores, and accomplishments, you're truly an Owl at heart ready to fly!
  • jztimmonsjztimmons Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Swifty3652 nailed it. Write an essay showing the admissions officers who you are and why they would want you to become a part of their campus. What makes you unique among all of the other 12,000 applicants? Why should they choose you over someone else? You could write about a particular experience where you showed great leadership abilities in a difficult situation. (Unique quality, obvious contribution) It doesn't have to be an elaborate tale, just a depiction of who you are. Help the admissions officers put a personality to the application.
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