right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Upcoming changes to the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

Trouble with College Essay Ideas

mediumapplesmediumapples 1 replies1 threads New Member
I'm using this for the first time and I was hoping for some advice/ help. So, I'm currently working on my common app essay and I can't decide on what idea to use.

My first idea was to talk about my curiosity through the stories/explanations my mother told me as a child and explain how they shaped me into who I am- basically the idea was that since she had only a high school education, she knew the information but put the answers into fairytale/ story form for me to understand it and enjoy listening at the same time

I was also going to write about nosebleeds and how during a choir concert my nose started to bleed in the middle of the performance and how I reacted - it's a very common issue for me I have and doctors have told me it's normal- and I didn't have any deeper meaning for this, maybe just that it taught me patience,,, idk

My idea that I'm currently working on is the last prompt about how an event sparked a sudden realization and I was going to write about how during a time when the power went out in my house, my younger brother (one year younger) and I had a "deep" talk and I always viewed him as a troublemaker (since a kid he always got into trouble) with no understanding of the world or people around him & I would turn out to be wrong and I was the one who assumed things about him and in college it's likely that I will meet people who assumed, in the same ways I did, knowledge on others and about who they are as a person, but that's something impossible to assume or know and just elaborate on that idea of finding a deeper understanding of the things in my life and I can learn and experience that through college.

I know these are a little messy (I'm currently rushing to type this) but I am hoping someone can give me any advice/ideas on how to elaborate on ideas (or anything), let me know if any of these sound like a cliche or uninteresting to the admissions officers. :)
4 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Trouble with College Essay Ideas

  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1671 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I like the first and third ideas of yours, as to whether they are interesting ones or cliches will wholly depend on what and how you write about them. I think the easiest way to make essays into cliches is to tell the readers the “lessons” you learned or the “wisdoms” you gleamed from your experience, don’t do that. Let the readers draw their own conclusions.
    Write and rewrite, read them out loud, ask your brother and your mother to read them, seek their feedbacks.
    Good luck.
    · Reply · Share
  • mediumapplesmediumapples 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you, that is very helpful :)
    · Reply · Share
  • BuddyYoBuddyYo 7 replies0 threads New Member
    I'm especially likened to the last of the three since it's a clear storyarc and would - in my opinion - bring a lot of visualisation and be easy to write about too. Straight narratives always are. If you can weave the first idea into a fantastical rollercoaster that doesn't seem disjointed and can show how you relate to them retrospectively (just a tiny portion near the end of how it continues to affect you) then I think thatd be beautiful too. Best of luck!
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34779 replies392 threads Senior Member
    Where are you applying? I can't imagine nosebleeds being relevant or advancing you as a candidate. Or a fun read.

    The essay(s) in the app are NOT some simple writing exercise. They are meant to show adcoms the traits, strengths, growths, etc, they want in their admits. "Show, not just tell." They know what they look for, it's an applicant's responsibility to understand this. The focus is meant to be on the present you. If it starts with a line or two about some thing in the past, fine. But the maturity and those traits they want need to be evident in your hs years. So how did her stories form the person you are today? In ways your targets look for, related to studies and activities, your impact on others, etc?

    But if you're applying to colleges that barely read the essay....

    Better feedback will come from the GC, who (usually) understands what colleges want than your mother or younger brother can.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity