I have heard several people (both on and off college confidential) mention having a ‘theme’ in your application. Could someone please shed some light on what this means? Is it just referencing your extracurriculars, or essays? Thank you!

Usually when people talk about a theme in your application it means a reoccurring message or idea about you. Sooo maybe your theme might be self reliance, or growth, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Your theme is reflected by your extracurriculars, essays, and even your classes.

Thank you, that makes sense!

I think one of the primary purposes of having a “theme” is to show colleges what your passions are in life and to make your application more cohesive. For instance, one of my friends had a theme about cancer; over the summer she did cancer research, she was a piano player and volunteered by playing at the local cancer center, and she organized a 5k for the American Cancer Society, all because her family had been affected by cancer. You can use themes to tie together seemingly disparate activities, which works really well for some people.