Another Why Reed Thread

<p>I'm not going to lie, this essay is killing me because I have no idea how to approach it. Give me a prompt on a personal belief, an issue, a philosophical question or just merely ask to describe myself and I'd breeze through it. This essay on the other-hand, is making me freeze up. I've written five introductory paragraphs and I keep tossing them (if anyone wants to look over them to see if they're worthwhile, that would be really helpful). </p>

<p>My main question is this: is the intent of the prompt to get applicants to focus more on writing about Reed or themselves? Everything I've read about so-called "great" college essays in general makes it look like application essays are supposed to be insanely self-centered to the point where the college often isn't even named. There's something really counter-intuitive to me about telling an admission's officer about the college they attend. Do you think it would be wise to talk-up/mention the thesis, lack of competitive grading, small class sizes etc in my essay or should I let my traits stand on their own for the most part?</p>

<p>I'm sorry if this question comes off as stupid. I'm overly stressed and I really, really, really want to attend Reed. There's never been a school that I've read about that fits me in the way that Reed does and I'd be pretty disappointed if I had to go to one of my backups instead. If anyone is interested here are my stats:
GPA: 3.27 (I have a steep upward trend though)
SAT: 2060 (740 CR, 640 M, 680 W)
AP: US (4), LangComp (4), WH self-study (5), EnviroSci self-study (5), Gov (5), Lit, Psych
SAT II: US History 800
Will graduate HS with 57 college credits from the local community college
Rank: top 30th (would be top ten without frosh year)
ECs: political involvement up the yin-yang (high school caucus chairman of Idaho Young Democrats, intern with Idaho Democratic Party
Teacher Recs: From my community college International Poli Sci and AP Lit
Courses: Lots of social science and philosophy electives.
Common App essay: on Gerrymandering</p>

<p>Oh and I'm also Latino.</p>

<p>The Why Reed essay is supposed to answer the question "Why are you applying to Reed?" Talk about Reed and why it appeals to you, not about yourself. I mean, of course this is personal, but the focus of this essay really shouldn't be on how many cookies you sold as a Girl Scout or whatever.</p>

<p>Hello! I'm a prospective Reedie as well--with very similar stats, actually. </p>

<p>I think the "Why Reed?" essay is the place to connect yourself to the school. Talk about the things you mentioned: the thesis, the lack of competitive grading, the small class sizes, and whatever else excites you about the school--then connect it to yourself. Reed requires all of its students to complete a thesis. So what? What does that mean to YOU? How does that excite YOU? What about YOUR past or YOUR imagined future makes that something that you would want to tackle? Reed's grading is evaluative and not inflated. Why does that appeal to YOU? How will that be to YOUR benefit? Reed's class sizes are small. Have YOU had past successes in small classes? Have YOU not been exposed to small classes but crave that environment? </p>

<p>It's my understanding that the Common App essay is more of the place to let your traits and your story stand on their own. </p>

<p>Best of luck on your essay!</p>

<p>That's the kind of straightforward answer I was looking for, thanks. Part of me was leaning in the direction that they wanted a very personal story/background as to how you fit the "Reedie" mold (like a succinct bio or nice reflective essay about your traits that doesn't focus too much on specific features of Reed but rather the general feel and values) or something of that nature but your post makes more sense.</p>

<p>I feel like that could work too, though. You could even do a combination of both.</p>

<p>I feel like you could even turn your first post into your "Why Reed?" essay.</p>

<p>Unrelated question: how is the economics department at Reed? I like what is written about it (lots of emphasis on the implications of clashing classic theories it seems, beautiful in this world of divergent economic thought) but does anyone have first hand or second hand experience there?</p>

<p>^My friend took intro econ this past semester, and he said it was better than he expected. The professor made the material really engaging and interesting, relating a lot to modern, actual events.</p>

<p>I just gave myself a high-five: this essay has been defeated. Thanks for the idea rchhay!</p>

<p>Glad to hear it and best of luck! Out of curiousity, what other schools are on your list?</p>

<p>Too bad my parents won't let me apply ED II...</p>

<p>^ Did they say why not?</p>

<p>I convinced them to do otherwise, luckily.</p>

<p>I think I did well with the interview (making your interviewer laugh a lot is a good thing, right?)</p>

<p>I think it's a good sign!</p>