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What sort of details about my background would be considered too explicit or should I no include?

OllieoppsOllieopps 1 replies4 threads New Member
I have chosen to do the common application, and decidede to do the first essay option. I think my background is very unique, but I'm not so sure on what I should actually include. Here are a few important aspects of my background:
1. Mother used to be a stripper
2. Father is an illegal immigrant(I am not due to being born in the US in 2002)
3. Divorce at around age 3
4. I'm 3 races(half hispanic, quarter black and a quarter white)
5. Multiple half brothers/sisters, connected to only my mothers side
6. Mother graduated 4 years ago with a Bachelors in Communications
7. Complex financial situation(My mother does not have a job, but gets money from an exboyfriend who is a millionaire. She is not dating him at the moment yet still recieves money)
8. Used to be rich(at the time when we lived with said millionarie)
9. Used to be very poor(when my mother was living in a rent free home due to a close friend renting it out for free) Food stamps and free store food bank were common
10. Autistic half brother that I helped raised due to needing to help my mother complete college.(Father was in prison at the time and is currently seperated from son)
11. Moved and lived in 6 different states.
12. Lived in multiple cities throughout the states.
13. Past 4 years of high school, moved to Florida freshman year. Junior year moved to Georiga. Each year we have moved to a different house.
14. Kind of a restatement, but currently we are middle class economically.
Any help for narrowing down what I should include in my essay would be really appreciated. If you'd like to know my current application is: 1220 SAT(taking another Nov.), 3.58~UW. 4.2 Weighted. 9 APS by the end of my senior year. Treasuer in Chemistry and Architecture Club. Involved in 4 Martial Arts. Thanks!
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Replies to: What sort of details about my background would be considered too explicit or should I no include?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24103 replies19 threads Senior Member
    The essays are to talk about what's important to you. Is it important that you moved a lot? Is adjustment hard for you or easy? Do you enjoy taking care of your brother? Is being multiracial a big part of your life?

    I wouldn't talk about money. All that will be covered in other parts of your application.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9253 replies93 threads Senior Member
    Your essay needs to be about you and what you will bring to a college campus. Your strengths and gifts need to be highlighted. Lots of students have complicated histories. The back story should be a couple of sentences at very most. The essay should be focused on who you are today.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 910 replies8 threads Member
    I feel like all of the above make you who you are today, so I would include it all. It certainly sets you apart -- there will be no one else applying who could write that essay! That said, I agree, focus on who you are today, and highlight qualities that schools want to see -- resiliency, initiative, perseverance etc. Best of luck to you!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35301 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Most of what's listed above is just details of his background. It doesn't form a compelling essay or app just to list them. A few might form the spine of an essay, but it's up to OP to craft this into what adcoms need to learn about him or her, for a *college admit.* That's not mom being a former stripper.

    OP needs to pick a theme and use it to focus on today's strengths. Otherwise, how can it be a tight essay, if all that detail is stuffed in? We can't even begin to glean who OP is, from that laundry list.
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