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Do college essays have to be very deep/personal?

gaara123gaara123 0 replies1 threads New Member
I want to make my essay more humorous/satirical, but the qualities I display are somewhat superficial (even though they do uniquely describe me). For example I talk about loving hip-hop/sports. Does my main message need to be very deep/personal about me?
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Replies to: Do college essays have to be very deep/personal?

  • PikachuRocks15PikachuRocks15 424 replies2 threads Member
    edited September 12
    Deep? No. Personal? Yes! :smile:

    At the end of the day, this is YOUR PERSONAL statement and Admissions is trying to learn more about YOU, not someone else. The way you choose to do this is up to you, but you should make sure that someone (maybe a friend, trusted teacher etc.,) after reading your essay, would learn something new about you and/or gain a glimpse into your life whether it supports your application (provides further background about why medicine, law school, artist etc.) or provides another dimension to yourself in the review process (values, life story, overcoming adversity etc.)

    If you're a humorous person by nature, it's TOTALLY fine to inject a bit of levity into your essay, but don't feel like you HAVE to do this in your essay--you don't want to come across as stilted or forced.

    Also, while it's fine to talk about superficial details, don't ONLY talk about them, make sure to talk about more specific details about YOURSELF too, and definitely don't use platitudes w/o the beginnings of a proposed solution etc.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!
    edited September 12
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  • AboutTheSameAboutTheSame 3190 replies48 threads Senior Member
    Nope. Your idea sounds like fun. One of the best I ever was from a young woman who described her experience raising chickens -- foxes in the hen house and all.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3714 replies89 threads Senior Member
    No, they don't have to be deeply personal. Humor can be difficult for some people to pull off, but regardless of whether you incorporate it or not, the essay on the whole should leave the reader with a positive feeling about you, an no reservations about having you as a student there.

    Your application as a whole should show a bunch of things: that you are capable of doing the work, you are a match to what the college is looking for, etc. etc. So use the essay to fill in a quality or talent the rest of your application doesn't cover (or you think doesn't cover sufficiently), or to highlight what is important to you.
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  • happy1happy1 24410 replies2457 threads Super Moderator
    The purpose of the college essay should be: 1) to tell admissions officers something about yourself that can't be found elsewhere on the application and 2) to give admission officers a reason to want you on their campus.

    If your essay can fulfill the two criteria above it should be fine. I always recommend that people start by writing a draft or outline and see how it goes.
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