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Is this college essay a good idea or not?

Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
So i was considering writing about a big family fight that occured between my father and my oldest uncle; it was a pretty big fight and it really affected my mother and she would pretty much cry everyday. A week after the incident, my mother found out that my sister got a very promising job in the states, and my mother was crying from joy. The whole situation in general made me more motivated to succed. I feel that essay idea is cliche and not very reflective of my values. Please tell me what you think.
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Replies to: Is this college essay a good idea or not?

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3410 replies77 threads Senior Member
    How would this essay - although potentially very interesting - sell the college on why you're a great fit for their program?
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  • Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
    I wanted to show that after the incident, I became very motivated to succeed. In addition to that, I was able to adjust in a very dull and stressful environment. wyt?
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  • Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
    How would this essay - although potentially very interesting - sell the college on why you're a great fit for their program?

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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2232 replies28 threads Senior Member
    No, I don't think so. Too much dirty laundry. This essay is only 650 words. I don't think a deep experience such as this can convey enough about you in such a short piece.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7256 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Honestly, it doesn't do it for me either. Too many things to explain till we get to you.

    What else you got?
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  • Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
    There was another situation where my younger uncle abused drugs and his brain was damaged, which affected my mother as well. However, I was 8 at the time; i remember everything vividly but I am not sure if I will be able to connect with this story as strong as the other one(where my father fights my uncle). This whole situation affected my mom and she became more stressed and violent. Idk tbh, i feel like all of these are cliche somehow. P.S. He was also found shouting at woman (due to the brain damge) and later arrested.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7256 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Seriously now... You think this uplifting story is something a college wants to read?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10776 replies586 threads Super Moderator
    The essay is about YOU. Not your uncle, mother, or cousins. Who are you? That’s what they care about. You want them to read it and think “I like this kid. Admit.” Find something positive to focus on. Being inspired to do better for yourself is admirable, but you are writing about YOU, not your mother.

    What do you enjoy doing? Any happy memories from recent years? (not middle school.) Do you do something fun to relax? Do you enjoy cooking, or cleaning? Do you play a sport just for fun? What is interesting about Rocketpotato?
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  • Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
    Okay, thanks for the support guys:)
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7256 replies34 threads Senior Member
    As a suggestion. My son had a hobby that he turned into a ebay business. Very, very small. But he was able to relate this to himself and the school and about the qualities to make him successful in college that he learned from this experience....it related right to the qualities of the school and actually their moto.

    I tell people try to be unique, personal and interesting. Even 2/3 but interesting is key. The reader should "want" to find out more about you. They only have like 10 minutes tops for your application. Make it worth their time.

    As I told my kids "Don't give them a reason to reject you." 😉.
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  • svlab112svlab112 657 replies7 threads Member
    It doesn’t have to be about a big event or life challenge.

    One of my kids took a leadership style assessment at school. This particular assessment assigned animals to ones leadership style.

    He was assigned the “Koala” among his peacock, lion, and owl friends. After some chuckles. he used this as a springboard for his essay on his leadership.

    One of his friends even got him socks with a koala pattern.
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  • happy1happy1 23970 replies2404 threads Super Moderator
    A few comments:

    -- The essay is not a confessional -- the purpose of the essay is to 1) let admissions officers know something about you that isn't elsewhere in the application and 2) to give admissions officers a reason to want to have YOU on campus.

    --The focus on the essay must always be on you.

    --Instead of throwing out a bunch of ideas I suggest you take any idea you come up with and write either an outline or a draft of the essay and see how it turns out and if it meets the goal of making yourself a more attractive candidate to colleges. Almost any topic can be a good or bad essay depending on how it is written.
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  • Rocketpotato888Rocketpotato888 6 replies3 threads New Member
    edited October 2019
    "t doesn’t have to be about a big event or life challenge.

    One of my kids took a leadership style assessment at school. This particular assessment assigned animals to ones leadership style.

    He was assigned the “Koala” among his peacock, lion, and owl friends. After some chuckles. he used this as a springboard for his essay on his leadership.

    One of his friends even got him socks with a koala pattern."


    Lol that's very intersting. The idea behind why I want to talk about this event because it really shaped who I am and I am generally able to write A LOT (by a lot i mean like a 700 word drafts) pretty easily bc it really impacted... thanks for the advice though :)
    edited October 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35377 replies399 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2019
    The idea is to use "Show, not just tell." If you want to say it motivated you to be more sensitive to others or whatever, you need real examples of what *you* do. It's not, "then I decided to study harder." Not, "that's why I want to be a doctor."

    And frankly, writing about something unpleasant, mom upset and all, is not what adcoms need to learn about you. And the more emphasis you put on the others, their story, their feelings, the more problematic for you, as the applicant.

    No personal statement is meant to "describe" this sort of stuff. It's about what you implemented and your traits. You can describe an argument in one sentence, as the turnaround point or impetus for your changes. But the point of the essay is your traits, what you can "show" you do. NOT revealing private family troubles at length.

    Not the fight specifics, not your mother's two sorts of tears.

    This is NOT like a schooll essay, where the teacher wants to know you got the format right and answered the prompt. And knows you. This is part of what introduces you to adcoms, a good narrative that makes them nod and smile and see you in the class.

    There's got to be a better topic or angle. Andit needs to be college-relevant.
    edited October 2019
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  • svlab112svlab112 657 replies7 threads Member
    The essay should stand on its own without the anecdotal catalyst (the fight). You can write the essay of your motivation without mentioning the event or at the most dedicating 1-2 sentences to it in vague terms.

    Think of the examples that show how you have demonstrated the "motivation to succeed" What does success look like to you?

    Specific examples of setting high but realistic goals. Actively seeking and taking advantage of opportunities. Being able to deal with setbacks or obstacles. Seeking and applying feedback to improve an outcome.
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