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Does my topic fit any of the prompts?

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Replies to: Does my topic fit any of the prompts?

  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35303 replies399 threads Senior Member
    "and he said that it all depends on how it is written and there are many factors that play into it." Standard answer. What makes you think this is carte blanche to write whatever you want? It's not an endorsement of your idea.

    "But again, he is speaking from his perspective." Darned tootin'. Assuming you meant adcom, not admin, he will be reading and rating your app "from his perspective, " too.
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  • bjkmombjkmom 7949 replies158 threads Senior Member
    In post 9 you say: "I am no longer a hypochondriac. I no longer have a mental health issue. That is why I am writing this essay."

    And that's the problem.

    That's NOT why you're supposed to be writing this essay. It's not true confessions, and it's not Dear Diary. This essay is a sales job. It's an attempt get a stranger to pick your application over one of someone equally qualified, in 650 word or less. It's an attempt to show that stranger that you would be a positive addition to their campus-- a better addition than someone else. It's your one chance to separate you from your statistics.

    So highlighting any sort of problem is a mistake. Even if you're over it-- though you can't present any real evidence that you DON'T have a mental health issue. You can tell us, you can tell them, you can believe it down to the soles of your feet. But once you've raised the issue, the reader is going to wonder how "cured" you are. Whether the stresses of living on your own with a stranger far from home will help those issues resurface. Whether they should warn Residential Life that your future roommate may be requesting a change because of those issues.

    Or they can just choose someone else, someone who hasn't raised those issues.
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  • bjkmombjkmom 7949 replies158 threads Senior Member
    Also, look at what you’ve done so far. You say you’ve spent 450 words or so and have 200 words left...to tell about the positives, to sell your application. Your app is competing against kids who used 650 words highlighting the positives you’ve given yourself 200 words to do the same thing.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14394 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    Okay do you want the first thing the Admissions Officer sees is:

    I was a hypochondriac.

    Still not the best you that you can present.
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  • shuffle1shuffle1 115 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2019
    The first problem with a topic of this sort is that writers tend to spend 2/3 or more of the time talking about the past and they run out of word count to talk about a go-forward position. There's lots of coloration and details about how awful things were and then the path forward just is a bland sentence that says that's all behind you with nothing else, and to the reader it comes across _really_ unbalanced. The story for the essay is not about how bad things were; it's about how you overcame something bad and learned from it and moved past it. Those are two completely different essay topics, and teenagers tend to overly focus on the first one - haven't seen yours, but I've seen a Lot of them.

    The second problem with this topic is that you're too emotionally connected to it. That makes it impossible to edit it, or accept criticism of its content, structure, or wording, without taking that as criticism of you. It takes someone with a very mature world view and high level of self awareness to write about such events in life without forming an unhealthy bond with the wording of it or the specific metaphors and symbols you choose to use. It can be done, and I've seen it done, but it was a very rare individual who had a great gift as a writer and a very high level of self-awareness who also had a great therapist along the way.
    edited May 2019
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  • LynnskiLynnski 245 replies12 threads Junior Member
    "But I didn't want to come off as stubborn."

    Unfortunately, OP, you are coming off as stubborn. You've gotten a lot of smart and caring advice. In the face of the general guidance, you seem to be solidifying your attachment to the topic.

    Any topic can be used to respond to one of the prompts because they're broad questions and one is completely flexible on purpose. But your topic—while it's undoubtedly interesting—does not provide a terrific response to the overarching prompt for the Common App:

    What makes you a wonderful addition to the college community?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35303 replies399 threads Senior Member
    It could be ok to write one funny line about an obsession when younger, but then move entirely away from that and focus entirely on your surge through high school, on the super accomplishments and show the good you do.

    That's not what you're describing.

    Hypochondria, is an obsession. They aren't looking for a)kids eith obsessions or b) kids now obsessed with the topic. You're showing here that your fixed on this topic. That's so far from the flexibility they look for.

    400 words can be a red flag on it's own. This is not about describing a problem in detail. A few sentences in, theyll.wonder if you truly left obsessing behind.
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4107 replies96 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    I wrote it already

    I'm sure this is why you are resisting the advice on this thread.

    My advice is to put this essay aside and save it for a secondary application, like a scholarship or a special program. It will not go to waste.

    For your main college essay, pick another topic and start over.
    edited May 2019
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  • collegemom9collegemom9 823 replies30 threads Member
    Nothing wrong with writing more than one essay, I think my son ended up writing 4 completely different ones before he finally had something that was really good. It was frustrating but worth it in the end to get into a very competitive school ED.
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  • shuffle1shuffle1 115 replies1 threads Junior Member
    " I wrote it already." You wrote a high school assignment; a college application essay that will stand up against other college application essays is a different task altogether. This is a completely different game and much different competition and you're being advised how to play and choosing not to accept the advice. That's your choice, but it may impact your outcomes in terms of acceptances and aid.
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  • conscious02conscious02 25 replies19 threads Junior Member
    UPDATE: I decided to switch my topic. I thought about it a lot and I think it'll be best if I wrote a different essay. It definitely is not something I would want colleges to read. Thank you, especially @lookingforward!
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  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale 2924 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I have a question about your friend's essay: what is food from the aisle?
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