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Common App Prompt 1 help

whitefox589whitefox589 0 replies6 threadsRegistered User New Member
Prompt: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Im wondering between two topics:

1. My family relation which seems like a boss (my dad) and subordinate one (my mom and I) instead of the average parent-child affection relationship. I go to a boarding school in CA, but even before I went, my family was disconnected from each other. Both of my parents worked without rest and my mom and I addressed my dad using formal, polite language, further distancing all of us.
As I became a boarding student, I only communicated with my mom and dad at the most once a month (only during reporting grades) unless they contacted me first. I called my mom sometimes, but never my dad in the last four years I have been at school.
My distant connection with my family caused me to value and strengthen friendships. (I want to tie the friendship stuff into one of my strengths: the willingness to help others and compassion)

2. How New Years connected my family members who all took a day off to celebrate the beginning of the year with me. New Years was when I felt my parents actually gave the fun experiences that I have wished to have with parents (I thought parental love was only composed of time and money spent towards the child).

Sorry its long!
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Replies to: Common App Prompt 1 help

  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1719 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    JMHO but both topics sound more to me like issues you want or need to work out in a therapy session rather than good topics for a college essay.

    Remember your essay should make the reader want to pick you. These topics don't leave me feeling as if you have that something that I really want to add to to college community.

    Again, JMHO.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2226 replies37 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The first sentence of #2 could make a nice "slice of life" essay. I agree with @Empireapple to leave out the family issues.

    Not to diminish your experience, but there are going to be so many essays with stories of kids who had even greater struggles. By that I mean homelessness, parental death, cancer... you don't want to put your troubles up against those.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9232 replies495 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No no no to #1.

    The essay is not a tell-all about your troubles. You are not going to sell yourself by talking about how you feel your parents haven’t been great at parenting.

    Agree that the New Years story could work, but keep it positive. Focus on what you want them to know about you, not about how your parents finally did something that made you happy.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34123 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The prompt misleads some into thinking they want to read a personal revelation that should be kept private.

    They want to see how you're their type, how you'll fit on campus, qualities about you.

    There must be some more positive story you can share, that shows your own good nature and openness. Your triumphs, positives.
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  • AcalynAcalyn 8 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    A huge step for college essays is to not make them about negatives. You could, but it's extremely hard and may come off as depressing rather than uplifting. The first one can be done, but it's unlikely that you can pull it off, and as groundwork2222 said, there is going to be so many other kids writing about the same things, is your voice unique enough to pull if off?
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