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When I’m hiking, I’m not merely a hiker; I’m a historian, a conservationist, and a teacher all in one.- - - I love this essay. For example: Maybe you wrote down “ballet slippers.” Maybe that makes you think of all of the time you’ve spent not only training, but also learning about the cultural origins of ballet... But your connection to the prompt--to each prompt, in fact--has to be super clear.
If you still can’t think of anything, try asking yourself these questions (which are basically the UC Personal Insight Question topics)...
Examples of Super Topics: Robotics Club, drumming, developing an app, improv comedy, ice skating, teaching science to middle schoolers, Officer Cadet School, computer programming, working in a restaurant as a server, working in a garden, Model United Nations, art-making, Volunteering for American Youth Soccer Organization, love of History & Film, being an amazing cook, internship at local hospital, acapella singing, advocating for worker rights…Get the idea here? Once you have 1-4 potential Super Topics in mind…Let’s say, for example, you picked “hiking” as a potential super topic. Here’s an example Super Essay: The Hiking Essay I’m a history nerd, to the point where I would be that guy reading history textbooks for fun. Through Boy Scouts, I have been able to arrange and lead Historical Trail hikes, giving myself and my troop first hand perspectives on what it felt like to sleep at Valley Forge in the winter, or what the walk up Breed’s Hill along Boston’s Freedom Trail is really like.
An exception to this game is if the topic is extremely specific, as can sometimes be the case for college essay prompts that ask you to reflect on a quotation or questions like U Chicago’s supplemental essay prompts or Virginia’s “Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are” (although that one can double with MIT or Caltech).
In short, making unusual connections will make your topic stand out, flex your creativity, and show multiple sides of you at once.
I’ve developed a pretty simple, step-by-step process to help you see which essay prompts can overlap.
College Admission Essay Prompts
It’s a topic that could potentially work for multiple prompts. Look to your brag sheet, resume, or Activities List. If this isn’t working for you, choose something that: You’ve spent a LOT of time doing ANDIs either awesomely impressive (like a research internship) OR interesting/weird (like leading historical hikes)ANDIs NOT something you’ve already written about in your main statement. Take a few minutes now to come up with 2-3 options. For example, writing an essay about your improv comedy troupe could probably work for both of these prompts (bold emphasis below is mine): Michigan: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. And that’s after you write the Personal Statement for your Common App. By doing so you’ll save tons of time and write better essays. Because writing an essay that works for several prompts leads to essays that have much more more (as in: they can stretch to fit multiple prompts), which often means they have more depth.When applying for admission to your selected colleges, most colleges will require you to write a personal statement to submit along with your college application. Describe an experience that forever changed your life and your outlook on life. Why have you chosen to spend the next four years of your life in college? What do you plan on doing after you graduate from college? As of right now, what do you see as your long-term goals in life? If you were given the ability to change one moment in your life, would you do so? To assist you in writing your best personal statement, colleges might provide creative college essay prompts to help stimulate your thinking process so that you can write the best possible personal statement. Would you have made the same decision looking back on the experience or would you have made a different decision? What movie, poem, musical composition, or novel has most influenced your life and the way that you view the world? If you were given the capability to travel back in time to any period in history, where would you head to and why? What do you consider to be the best advice you ever received? What advice would you offer to a student just beginning his/her high school career? Devise a question that is not on this college admission form and provide a complete, thoughtful answer to it. Choose one quotation that defines who you are and explain why that quotation describes you so well. How has the neighborhood you've grown up in molded you into the person you are today? Imagine that you have written a 400-page autobiography of your life to this point. By considering the 25 creative college essay prompts above, you can be more prepared to write an engaging personal statement that will let your personality shine through and will help you to be accepted into the college of your choice. Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our world and explain why you chose that invention. If you had the ability to read other people's minds (a.k.a. The personal statement is used by most colleges to help them evaluate the type of person you are, which can help differentiate yourself from other applicants who have similar academic backgrounds to yours.One of the most daunting aspects of applying to college is the sheer number of essays you have to (wait, get to! Plus, now Stanford is going to not only learn about why improv comedy is meaningful to you, but also how it’s created a kind of community for you (thanks to Michigan) AND how it has equipped you with a unique perspective (thanks to Duke). Here’s a Venn Diagram to illustrate based on the Michigan/Duke/Stanford example above, but remember that this can be applied to any schools that have overlapping prompts: What’s that, you ask? That same essay could work for this prompt too, right? We’re brainstorming what I call tells the reader something more. Presuming there was only one open admission spot remaining, why should this college choose to accept your application and not that of another student? What would you describe to be your most unique or special skill that differentiates you from everyone else? Describe some tasks that you have accomplished over the past two years that have no connection to academic studies. If you had the chance to have a 30-minute conversation with any person in human history (either living or deceased), who would be the person you choose? If you could be any animal in recorded history, what animal would you choose? Who gave you that advice and did you follow that advice or not? What do you consider to be the most important political or social movement of the 20th century?