Wanting to write in third person in my common app essay

Hi, so my college essay is about a butterfly and how people often distinguish the caterpillar and butterfly as two separate organisms, but they are really one. I want to begin the essay in third person as a little girl (a caterpillar), go on about my metamorphism and the science behind it, and then me as a butterfly. I feel like the third person would really help distinguish that the little girl and older girl like the caterpillar and butterfly. Should I keep it all in first person or continue on with my idea?

I think that this a very interesting idea for a creative writing piece, the image of a person’s development portrayed as the metamorphosis of a butterfly. However, I don’t think that it’s the best approach to an application essay. You want the essay to show something about you to the admissions committee. I think a better approach, if you feel that you had an experience that transformed your life, is to write about that experience, and make a one time reference via simile or metaphor to a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.


Remember your essay is supposed to be about you. It is a chance to market yourself to the school. It is not supposed to be an essay about something unrelated.


So how do I reroute my essay to highlight my experience and what that shows in my personality without it being bland and a simple story?

Yes, you’re completely right but I have no idea how to do that without storytelling. Could you offer some ideas how to market myself without using simple statements of my abilities?

Sending you a private message. Look for the green circle in the upper right hand screen, click on it.

I have been helping many posters with their essays. I will PM you.

Great idea.

Showing creative intelligence in an application essay should help your chances of admission to most highly selective schools.

P.S. Seeking the type of guidance that you are seeking before drafting a version of your essay is like asking how to write an ordinary essay / how to write an essay just like every other applicant. Don’t settle for mediocrity. You have a great idea that needs to be executed before seeking any critique.

Thank you so much! I sent in my application to a school with a 11% acceptance rate after gaining help from an alumni of that school last night, so fingers crossed!! I ended up staying with the idea because butterflies are very meaningful to me, and it still showcased my personality through my writing style.


Just dropping in to say if executed correctly think it’s a great idea. I helped someone with something very different and she pulled it off. I like personal, unique and interesting and you seemed to hit those marks. Good luck.