College Essay Topic..

<p>I've been brainstorming ideas for my college essay and I think I want to write about religion, but I am worried that this could be controversial. It would discuss how I rejected it when my parents imposed it on me, but how doing so made me a more critical and open minded thinker. Also, how volunteering at my church (like playing flute for services) helped immensely with self confidence issues. The main theme would be how this institution that I disagreed with taught me to be more tolerant and see the good in others that held an opposing view of mine. Also, how I learned to agree with the church's values though I may not understand the faith behind it. I'd emphasize the irony of how, although I may have considered myself agnostic and am still figuring out my faith, the Catholic church instilled me with many virtues I have gained in my life. I do not need advice, but I am not sure how this type of essay would be perceived by an admissions counselor and if I risk offending someone--which is always the case when religion is in question. I plan to use this essay to apply to Catholic schools like Georgetown and honestly have no idea if this would be acceptable. Keep in mind I have nothing against Catholicism, I've just found it healthy for me to challenge it. I'd really appreciate anyone's insight! Thank you!</p>

<p>I don’t think I would. Nobody here can predict who is going to be reading your essay, and as you said, there’s always the chance that you’ll get someone who is offended, especially if you’re applying to Catholic schools. Honestly, I don’t think the topic is so mindblowingly amazing that it’s worth the risk- the “high school atheist” is a pretty common identity. It sounds like you have a good idea of what the essay should portray as far as themes and structure, so I think you’ll easily come up with a better route.</p>

<p>I don’t think it’s a good topic. It doesn’t really reveal anything about you and is pretty risky. You want to write about something that makes you unique, offers insight into your personality. Look at the common app prompts and see if one of them speaks to you. Last year, I wrote to the “name a time when you experienced failure” prompt about why I got a C+ in physics (teacher issue) and what I learned from it. It helped explain a blip in my app and also showed my maturity. I got several personal comments on acceptance letters about how they enjoyed my essay and reading about how I learned the importance of advocating for myself.</p>

<p>I think it is quite an interesting idea. For the most part, I think admissions officers are pretty open minded. In your case, I like how you have still taken some of the own values from the Catholic church yet you have used it to forge your own path. It shows that you are a critical thinker and someone who will not take what someone else said just because they are older as truth. Because you are applying to catholic schools (curious given your description above) I’d err on the side of caution. I’d focus on how it helped you develop as a person, rather than disagreements between the church itself. They might even find it refreshing (think of how many of the other type of essays they must get) College essays are all about writing something you are personal and can talk alot about. This seems to be the topic for you. Good luck</p>

<p>Might be a little ambitious for 650 words…</p>

<p>I think it would fare well, especially including how you took the values from church even though you did not prescribe to the faith. It shows critical thinking while also showing understanding for multiple viewpoints. Even an admissions officer who is very religious could find ways to like you because you came to accept / agree with the values of the church, while any strong atheists can agree with your critical thinking and questioning of religion. And anyone in the middle can see the strengths of both.</p>

<p>Try the essay forum. There are a lot of variation of this theme that crop up. </p>

<p>You should write a draft and have a few people read it to tell you how it comes across.</p>

<p>Thanks for the help, everyone! I am aware that this could be problematic, and I might only use this essay for some reach schools. I would be very careful not to bash Catholicism but simply acknowledge that I did not prescribe to it. I appreciate everyone’s feedback! </p>

<p>I think it’s fine. Just make sure you don’t “bash” anything–and that would include your parents.</p>