Common App essay

Hi guys. I’m about to start writing the common app essay and would be grateful if you guys could give any extra advice or views on it.

Essay’s Overview-- Had past trauma, mother had mental health issues due to domestic abuse, that pushed me towards mental health awareness, what I learnt from several friends and peers undergoing different psychological issues, what I did to try and help them, will mention some specific events, will also write about increasing demotivation of students to study in my community.

I’m writing on this topic cuz adults where I live are completely oblivious to the existence of mental health issues among children and teenagers. (Will be mentioning this as well in the essay).

P.S. - I don’t intend to major in it, but will most probably choose psychology as a minor

Would love to hear what you think about it :smiley:.

Focus on how these experiences have affected you regarding motivation, insights, & maturation / growth.

You need a theme to connect all of your events & relationships covered in the essay.

Since it seems like you have spent a lot of time thinking about these events and how they inter-relate to your development, you need to write a first draft or two in order to receive meaningful advice.

Think before you write.

Be careful. What is the goal of writing about your past trauma, the domestic abuse, etc? If it’s not to give the reader an understanding of why you want to become a social worker, family lawyer, mental health specialist, domestic violence victim shelter operator, etc, then why? I’m not saying don’t mention any of this, but do have a very good reason, other than letting the reader know that adults where you live are oblivious to the mental health issues of minors.

You want to convey to the reader something about who you are, what you want to do in life and why, how you want to get there, and how college will help you achieve that goal. You want to make the reader want to admit you to their school. There are lots of ways of approaching this, but relating past traumas without clearly tying it in to what you want to do in life can backfire. For example, an applicant who survived a major car accident and underwent prolonged rehab could tell about it and tie it in to a goal of anything related to that - becoming a medical professional, a child life specialist, even a hospital CEO because hospitals don’t run without administrators to run them. But it might be far less relevant if your life goal were to become, say, an actuary, although I suppose there might be some convoluted way to tie that in.

What I’m trying to convey is that in the same way that a good essay has a sustained story line that is moved forward by every sentence, your college essay needs to tell a story that has coherence and forward momentum, to let the reader know more about you than just that you have had challenges in life.

Don’t forget that your guidance counselor’s letter can tell certain facts, so that you have more space in your essay for other things.