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should I write about bullying in common app essay?

saiponnapallisaiponnapalli 0 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member

I am a student about to apply. One of my essays is about how I was bullied in middle school, so I gave up my culture to be more social, only to be introduced to a community that helped me rediscover my pride for my culture. Although the overall outcome is positive, I’ve had multiple people say that the bullying part could blacklist me from colleges since they will think that I am depressed and that I cannot function well with other people( there must be a reason why I was bullied). Yet if I change anything, the entire theme changes because it’s not about cultural rediscovery anymore. Can anybody help me?
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Replies to: should I write about bullying in common app essay?

  • bjkmombjkmom 7939 replies158 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It sounds to me as though you need a new topic. Remember, this is a sales job! It's not true confessions, it's "Here's why I would be a great addition to your campus!" Find a topic that says that and write it.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6619 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    How does your cultural rediscovery impact how you will be able to contribute as a student on campus? Is it related to your major? Your interests?

    If this is just an essay on self identity, I would find a new topic. If it is relevant to what you'll bring to campus, focus on that part and have the bullying be 1 -2 sentences tops.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1263 replies4 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 7
    Agree with @momofsenior1 . Bullying is a tricky topic, but if you can turn that around to say how the experience has made you a better person relative to your community (vs just finding your identity), it could be a very strong piece. S was not bullied per se, but he was picked upon at times because while he was an athlete, he was also a nerd who played piano, so he developed empathy for the kids that were always picked upon. He stood up for his friends in the nerd camp who were bullied, he was not afraid to take the unpopular view in or out of class either as an intellectual exercise or as a matter of conviction. He wove his Common App essay around these themes and anecdotes to portray an empathetic, open minded and curious person.
    edited August 7
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6476 replies51 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yet if I change anything, the entire theme changes because it’s not about cultural rediscovery anymore

    Colleges aren't looking for an essay on cultural rediscovery. As @bjkmom said, your essay is a sales pitch, that presents parts of you that are not obvious from the other parts of your application, and that make the AO's say 'ooooh, this is a good one- just the kind of student we need as part of our class this year'.

    It's not about 'blacklist' or no-go topics: it's that what matters is not the topic but what it says about you now- what you bring to the campus. It is *hard* to write well about these sorts of issues when they are so close in time and so close to your heart.
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