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Essay Topic - What Will You Bring?

momboysmomboys Registered User Posts: 34 New Member
edited November 2006 in Parents Forum
There are 3 seniors in my living room pondering some version of this essay topic: "We are looking for a diverse class. What will you bring to campus?"

These essays are for 2 different schools and one scholarship application. Is this topic an opportunity to do a general "here's who I am, the activities I enjoy, the leadership I've done, why I want to go to your college essay" or is there something more that should be addressed? Those general-type essays usually end up being nothing more than a recitation of the resume and boring, which they obviously want to avoid.

My son has about 12 different essays for his applications, and this one is giving him (and the others) the most trouble. They just can't seem to find a focus for the essay. Any suggestions? Thanks
Post edited by momboys on

Replies to: Essay Topic - What Will You Bring?

  • blackeyedsusanblackeyedsusan Registered User Posts: 2,503 Senior Member
    My son is working on one of these essays this afternoon too. The way he's approaching it is what is different about him -- either culturally, geographically, or in terms of his strengths/interests, etc. It's another way to show who you are and why you would be a good addition to the school.
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Registered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    What separates him from the crowd? What unique set of skills, interests, experiences does she bring to sew into the quilt of the freshmen class.

    Don't let them do a "what I believe", or a bragsheet recital here. This is for the money (so to speak).

    It's time to mention raising goats for spending money (;)), being hung up on surfing, being able to turn your upper eyelids inside out . O.K. Maybe not that but .... this is a place to let it hang out pretty far.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,900 Senior Member
    Unless the questions are very specific (they rarely are) I treat them as prompts which the writer can use to get an essay started but go in almost any direction. I am going to bring my favorite old stinky pair of sneakers, and launch into a story about all the times you wore those shoes, but since they were your only pair of shoes you talk about anything. I'm bringing an old family photo album to remind myself of the sacrifices my family made to get me where I am today.

    I would avoid bringing my open mind and willingness to listen to differing points of view and desire to live in a diverse community and make friends and meet really cool people.
  • cnp55cnp55 Registered User Posts: 3,708 Senior Member
    If I were writing it ... oh for the days when I had time to write ... I'd set it up with a grabber of an opening paragraph ... and then something tangible I would bring for ACADEMICS and tie that in to what I want to study and why ... something tangible to bring for ATHLETICS ... and tie that in to either a sport or activitiy I want to play and why ... and then something tangible for an EC (musical instrument?) and tie that into who I am. Then I'd pull it all together for a snappy ending.
  • momboysmomboys Registered User Posts: 34 New Member
    I feel as if I should have known how to advist them, but brains are dead here, theirs and mine.

    Thanks for the responses so far. The boys said they would check this thread for updates.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    What an open ended prompt!

    I'd take it as, "What is unique about you? How do you see yourself? What are your passions, your skills, your interests? How would our campus be different if you were here - or what would we miss out on if you weren't here? Where would you fit in the picture of our student body?" NOT time to brag about extracurriculars or grades, but tell what makes you tick. Your love of surfing or skiing, the way you can't stand losing at basketball -- or the way you could care less about the score and just love to play the game, the joy you get from tutoring little kids in reading, or the fact that you will share your (fill in the blank) ethnic or geographic heritage with the school.

    Does any of that give someone a jumping off point to start writing?
  • patsmompatsmom Registered User Posts: 4,210 Senior Member

    My son is in the same situation as yours, trying to write the Rice essay. He's totally stymied. My suggestions haven't been very inspired.

    I think it's the essay style he's having trouble with more so than the content. The question lends itself to a straightforward answer, but that would result in a dull essay. He needs a "hook" to get started. He'll be monitoring this thread, too.
  • TheAnalystTheAnalyst Registered User Posts: 2,814 Senior Member
    My S wrote about what he learned by growing up in a far left, politically liberal family living in a far right, politically conservative neighborhood. His message was that his experiences as a "political minority" had taught him to be more sensitive to others' feelings and how to contribute alternative points of view in classroom discussions without alienating his classmates and teachers. He used anecdotes and humor that seemed to work well with this theme.
  • itstoomuchitstoomuch . Posts: 1,745 Senior Member
  • garlandgarland Registered User Posts: 15,085 Senior Member
    S did one of those for MI, the year they had to change their admission process to conform to the Supreme Court decision. Our assumption, at least then, was that diverse meant DIVERSE. So S wrote an essay about living in a really, really diverse town, going to a no-majority HS, and how this was just the norm for him, and that he would bring to the school someone who didn't think about diversity overtly, because it was part of the texture of his life. He used a description of a Marching Band potluck dinner, the families, the food, etc., as an anecdote to set the scene.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,900 Senior Member
    The famous one is Colgate University asking applicants to name one thing they will bring with them to Colgate.

    Most popular answer: toothpaste
  • cowtipper1cowtipper1 Registered User Posts: 1,567 Senior Member
    my answer: a bathing suit

    i would wear a bikini all day everyday if it were possible. i like to be comfortable, and i hate shoes more than anything.
  • 2boysima2boysima Registered User Posts: 1,794 Senior Member
    Cowtipper1 --
    You might find it a little difficult to wear a bikini all day, every day at Colgate in Hamilton NY. It's VERY cold and snowy there in the winter (but...could certainly make for a unique essay!)
  • momboysmomboys Registered User Posts: 34 New Member
    Thanks everyone. I don't know about the other 2 but mine is working on his essays (2 on this topic that are similar but will require different approaches). All 3 said your comments were helpful.
  • WashDadWashDad Registered User Posts: 2,695 Senior Member
    I would bring:

    1. A box of Oprah tissues (sensitivity to the feelings of others)
    2. Six dozen assorted MEGO donuts (diversity)
    3. A large magnifying glass (focus)

    That should about do it...
This discussion has been closed.