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Advice on my ideas for essay prompts for T50 schools?

lucycatxlucycatx 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
Okay so not all of these schools are T50 but most are: Syracuse, Lehigh, Villanova, Brandeis, Vassar, Cornell, Boston College, Boston University, and Bucknell.
--ALSO: Im a junior so this is just me brainstorming ideas
ESSAY PROMPT IDEAS:

--Mondays are Yellow and Sundays are Pink: My experience with Synesthesia (Synesthesia is a semi-rare condition in which people see colored numbers/words/letters-- there are lot of different conditions)

--My sister and I: Twin Competition (my sister and I are identical and we are always competing with each other-- its different than other siblings because we have same friends/same classes/same life)

--Family Tradition: Going to the same restaurant/same time/same day every week for years (about family and making friends with the waitress there, plus importance of family time when I was depressed)

--The Time My Friend Moved (story about my friend moving away, not sure if this is good or not)

--From the Sidelines: My experience being one of the worst on the team and why I was the happiest (I was on varsity swim and I sucked, but I was the happiest and I talk about why)

=====That's it! Feel free to be as honest and brutal as you like- you can tell me all the topics I stated are garbage and I need to choose different ones-- dont worry I wont be offended! Thanks for listening <3

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Replies to: Advice on my ideas for essay prompts for T50 schools?

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29423 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    All but the first typical old topics I’ve seen many times over.

    Still, even a hackneyed subject well presented that showcases you well can be a winner. It’s just harder to do when it’s a subject that’s been used so often.

    One of my kids wrote an essay that got a big thumbs down from experience GCs at his school, and so concurred. It was basically a research paper

    One of his college choices has various schools, and you could pick more than one. CMU, force smple, operates that way. But you had to write a school specific essay for each choice and that was the only frigging essay that even remotely worked and Dude wasn’t going to write another essay.

    A few added sentences that made it personal, not only got him a top school acceptance but a great comment specifically directed at the essay which was sent to the pertinent department and a personal note from the sept head followed. So, yes, even an essay that breaks every college essay rule can nail a sweet spot.

    The catch is that it’s difficult to do and rarely happen. You take that chance. So it is with old topics so often used too. You have to do better and be fresher and more interesting.
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  • lucycatxlucycatx 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    All but the first typical old topics I’ve seen many times over.

    Still, even a hackneyed subject well presented that showcases you well can be a winner. It’s just harder to do when it’s a subject that’s been used so often.

    One of my kids wrote an essay that got a big thumbs down from experience GCs at his school, and so concurred. It was basically a research paper

    One of his college choices has various schools, and you could pick more than one. CMU, force smple, operates that way. But you had to write a school specific essay for each choice and that was the only frigging essay that even remotely worked and Dude wasn’t going to write another essay.

    A few added sentences that made it personal, not only got him a top school acceptance but a great comment specifically directed at the essay which was sent to the pertinent department and a personal note from the sept head followed. So, yes, even an essay that breaks every college essay rule can nail a sweet spot.

    The catch is that it’s difficult to do and rarely happen. You take that chance. So it is with old topics so often used too. You have to do better and be fresher and more interesting.

    Thank you for being honest!! I thought these topics were a bit more interesting, but I'll def try and brainstorm some more!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34200 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 27
    None of those topics lends itself easily to showing he traits top collges DO want to see. First, an applicant needs an idea of that: what they do want to learn about you. Try to remember, it's an essay for a college admit, not the same as writing something interesting and revelatory for the English teacher, who knows you. Btw, I have some synesthesia, too.

    So find a way to show the traits. Eg, swim might work if you can do it well. Not just that it makes you happy, but tie that to more, some college-relevant maturity, enhanced engagement in other ways, growth in perspective or resilience, etc. "Show, not just tell."
    edited July 27
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1729 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I like, "from the sidelines." To me, this one could show me something about you as an individual.

    The other topics - not so much.
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 175 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think it depends on what yo have to say and how you write it. For example, I can imagine an essay on Synesthesia being very interesting if it provides insight into what sort of a person you are - people are very wary of essays about challenges overcome, but this doesn't sound like that sort of topic to me. I've always wondered what it would be like as a practical matter to live with synesthesia, and maybe an admissions officer would be intrigued as well. I also agree the swimming topic may have promise, so long as the essay is honest and not contrived. The other topics don't strike me, but if there's something there that you feel is important, sketch it out and ask the opinion of someone who will give you an honest view.
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  • mathmommathmom 32382 replies159 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think any of them could be a great essay or a terrible one. It just depends on how you write it. I don't have synesthesia except for strong feelings about what colors should be associated with days of the week.
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  • ktong777ktong777 122 replies53 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I agree with everyone who has commented, and I think "From the Sidelines" has strong potential if you write it well, since it's a quite common essay topic (I myself had the exact same type of essay in mind describing my experience with Volleyball). If you can portray something unique about you through that essay that's not too cliche, it could come out really well.
    I'm not sure what specifically you were planning on talking about with synesthesia, but whatever it is, try incorporating a unique positive experience rather than focusing on the possible disadvantages you've encountered from having that condition.
    Also, a general advice is to talk more about positive things focused on yourself (although not self-centered) through preferably some anecdote. That's why your other essay topics aren't very strong. They talk more about the world you come than about yourself, which is what colleges really want to get to know.
    Good luck on your essays!
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