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Discussing Family, Good or Bad Idea?

throwawayfrfrthrowawayfrfr 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
My family has been the biggest influence on my life, so I feel that my essays would be incomplete without discussing them in at least one of my essays. My core question is how can I bring these things up (listed below)in essays without coming off as pretentious and a total tool (and would colleges even care about these things).

One of my parents sits on the board of directors/trustees at a company that has yearly revenue of 750 million year, and two of my uncles/aunts are in the C-level at fortune 100/Dow 30 companies (one is president of XXXX for XXX region and the other is C_O of a very large sector of YYY). Being surrounded by them left some very big shoes to fill which lead to my decision to pursue my major as well as served as my introduction to business and what hard work can lead to.

My parents met and were married at this college and always talk about how lovely it is.

(only for Harvard app) The first person to go college in my mom's family went to Harvard. He was a poor Boston kid and they took a chance on him and he used the opportunity that they gave him to help so many people and dedicated his life to civil service. He later went on to become a professor at Harvard. I have always looked up to how he is always looking for ways to better others and better government (as sees the gov. as a tool for helping people). So many people in government end up selling their soul's, I really admire his passion and resolve. This influenced me in so many ways, and led me to doing this really big project and exploring public policy and bureaucracy.

I know that this is super douchy, and that is why I here. I would like to discussing these things in an essay, but don't know how to bring them up without being hella pretentious and sounding entitled.

Thank you in advance for your comments and help :smile:
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Replies to: Discussing Family, Good or Bad Idea?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6703 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 6
    Look at it from the other direction: I'm an AdComm: what are you showing me about why our school would be a better place if you were part of the community?

    Your first paragraph is too irritating for me to even write helpful comments about (I did try). Pretentious is the least of how things like details about just how rich and powerful your relations are and why that has inspired you to do finance (or whatever) comes across.

    Your parents story is sweet- and not a reason for you to pick a college OR a college to pick you.

    Your Harvard paragraph is the closest to saying something about you- but it's a whole long paragraph about somebody else, and just a sentence about you.

    It kind of comes across as if the reason your "application would be incomplete" if you didn't discuss your family in one of your essays is b/c they are your best selling points (rich / important relatives- possible donors! double legacy! but also implied recent 'first generation' / deserving poor / and, oh yes, another legacy.

    Your essays are the link between your stats, ECs, and LoRs: they fill in the gaps, add color and dimension, and highlight the parts of you that aren't already obvious. Make them about you.
    edited October 6
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  • throwawayfrfrthrowawayfrfr 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @collegemom3717 thank you for comment.

    In response to the first paragraph: Knowing that a student will get hired after graduation, do well, and in doing so represent the college well.

    2nd para: it do be like that sometimes

    3rd para: I was thinking that it serves as a personal connection and then I can talk about the beauty of the campus.

    5th para: Honestly, kinda. I think it could be the thing that sets me apart in the sea of ultra competitive apps.

    6th para: Super good advice and I was on the fence to begin with so I will most likely strap this idea and redo the essays with something more personal.

    Seriously though, thank you for your time and imput.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29420 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just about any topic can be parlayed into a good essay. Just about any topic can be the subject of a bad essay. It’s just that some areas are easier to venture into these “ratings” than others.

    So it’s entirely possible you could write bang up essays using your list of topics, but it’s a lot more possible that you venture into an area of hurting your case. I tend to agree with @throwawayfrfr on this.

    You can apply to a some colleges using those essays and then revise the Common app with ones that fit the specs and see how your outcomes are
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34100 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your family isn't applying, you are. To throw around their accomplishments can seem immature and lacking perspective- in life, as well as for a college app. The more academic colleges are concerned with your four years there, not your post grad job connections. It all sounds very "young." And under-informed. I think you have NO idea what sets an applicant apart.

    Learn more about what they want and how you match that. Show the personal traits they look for.
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