Would this be a bad topic for my supplemental essay?

For one of my supplements, I am thinking about writing about how coming from an immigrant family where mental health was highly stigmatized motivates my desire to study my particular major, join certain clubs, etc. I open the essay with a scene of me in tears and my parents being unable to take me seriously.
Please be completely honest and tell me if it’s a sensitive/bad essay topic. I have only written a few paragraphs and don’t want to waste time on a topic that will likely get me rejected. Thank you!
(Btw I’m being purposefully vague).

With a zillion topics out there, I would not pick that one.

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It could be an effective essay topic if written well. Effective, in large part, because it relates directly to your chosen area of study.

A common problem with undergraduate student admissions essays is that the applicant often has not developed fully their message. It seems like you have a clear message that you want to convey to readers and that it relates directly to your motivation to engage in a particular area of study. This should yield a compelling admissions essay.

Don’t be afraid to be honest.

P.S. In response to the post immediately following this post: A convincing & compelling reason to study in a particular major is a strength.

I think essays should focus on your strengths and positive things. There are tons of other topics you could choose.


It depends on the writing.

I would probably not start with the scene with you in tears, but instead just write a short, concise, straightforward paragraph or two on the issue and why you want to study whatever you want to study.

Is this covered at all in the rest of your application?

I would be happy to look at your essay and could PM you.

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Thank you so much for the offer! However, based on the comments I’ve received I’ve decided to scrap that essay and choose a more positive topic

Many supplemental essays can be very short. Is there a word count? If you are providing “additional information” you can simply write that you are from an immigrant background that stigmatizes mental health problems, that you have seen the harm that causes, and as a result want to major in psychology with a goal of addressing this issue. It does not have to be “creative.” I don’t see that as negative. But keep in mind that any topic can be presented in a concise, straightforward way in the supplemental essay, at least, depending on prompt and word count.

The word count for this one is 300-400, so its not incredibly short or anything. In all the examples I have seen, students provide anecdotes and really flesh out the details of the scene, which is why I think it may not work to just address the issue in a short straightforward way.

i am PM’ing you