I’m currently a rising senior, and for my common app essay, I’ve been planning to write about my summer experience in a research lab.
I wanted to talk about how working in the lab made me realize truly how important my education was (we used biological terms in the lab, I needed to think critically about analyzing data, etc). A lot of what I learned was applied to the lab. Essentially, I wanted to talk about how this lab really put the importance of my education into perspective.
I also want to mention how I’ve been inspired to work in research, since I feel like it’s very exploratory. Which prompt below would fit my essay best? Also, is talking about my lab going to make for a good essay in general?
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? (For this, I was considering talking about bumps in the lab, since some data didn’t turn out well. I think it would be good since I could show how I dealt with ‘failure’)
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.