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What are college essays supposed to say about you?

Morgan491Morgan491 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
edited May 2012 in College Essays
I have ideas that would make a good essay but wouldn't really say anything about me. I know they're supposed to show something about yourself that you can't show in any other part of the application. So if anyone could give me examples of this, like what they tried to convey about themselves in their essay? Thanks
Post edited by Morgan491 on

Replies to: What are college essays supposed to say about you?

  • intlstudent2016intlstudent2016 Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    You can actually write about a significant event that has changed your life, or an unforgettable experience.
    When my child was interviewd by a UPenn alumni, he actually suggested to be bold in your essays.
    If you are just into practicing for now, you can actually see a sample of essay topics on each college supplements, check the link below and click on download forms -


    At least you have a starting point for a topic.
    Hope this helps, just my opinion though!
  • WhaleWhaleWhaleWhale Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    It may take a while to think of a good topic, but it will eventually come to you. Just think about what is meaningful to you and what makes you unique. Don't worry if you don't think that anything is meaningful to you. There definitely is. I'm a boring Asian, but I managed to write decent essays. One was about weightlifting, and another was a postmodern essay that is difficult to explain.
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,707 Senior Member
    Think of the assets you bring to a school. What separates you from others? If you were able to label yourself, what would that label be? For example, I would say that both of my d's would have been labeled music/ theatre/ artsy kids with strong leadership and academics.

    So their college essays, though very different, further described them under these "labels."

    Older D's essay was about her forming the school's first co-ed acapella group and what she learned about herself and about leadership through that experience. (She is graduating nyu as a vocal performance major--MT--with minors in Business Entertainment and English lit.)

    Younger D is a studio art major. Her essay focused on how she percieves the world and notices small details about people/ places that others tend not to see--and how she uses this as inspiration in her artwork.

    Their ec's aligned with their essay as well.

    Good luck!
  • fauxmavenfauxmaven Registered User Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    Something that gives a personality to a lot of facts . Most people I know wrote about an experience that was life-changing ,or at least ,unique .Something you are passionate about .
  • christinaprepschristinapreps Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Morgan, don't feel pressured to come up with a "significant" or "life-changing" event; not everyone has had one of those by age 17!

    An essay can say something about you without being direct. Every creative, interesting essay has a subtext - intended or not. Readers will analyze you from what you say and how you say it, much the way you would do about a character in literature. My advice is to look for your topic first, and then see what that says about you. If you don't like the message you are broadcasting, try again.

    For example: An essay about a tough class you had and how you eventually got through it might convey to readers that you don't give up, are an innovative thinker, etc. An essay about what your desk looks like right now would probably convey a lot about you - this person is organized and focused, or has eclectic interests, or gets excited and carried away by his/her passion for projects.

    Make sure your essay doesn't convey the wrong message. Writing about not doing well in a class because you had a bad teacher, for example. Or about your triumph on the football field or in the orchestra (nobody likes someone who is really full of themselves, right?). In fact, some of the best, most likable, and entertaining essays are about mistakes!

    I hope this helps. Good luck!
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