College essay on personal experience

With this strategy, it may be easier for you to group similar ideas together. You could also ask them to write down the words and phrases you use during your conversation. What words would you use to describe their character, and which of their actions support this description? An alternative would be to answer the essay question as if you were that character — what personal experience would Harry Potter, Eleven, or Black Panther choose to describe who they are? But, after reading these enthralling stories about other people, I still know absolutely nothing about the student who wrote the essay.

What are you like beyond your GPA and test scores? What makes you unique? What can you contribute to our campus community? Now, keep in mind that creativity and a bit of humor are nice. Professionals on admissions committees have the daunting task of reading thousands of application essays per year, and it can get a bit tedious after a while.

Student story: Admissions essay about a formative experience

That being said, remember to choose an essay topic that helps keep the focus on you but is still flexible enough for you to incorporate your personality, your history, your individuality, and your impact on those around you. Some college and university applications provide essay questions that influence some pretty good answers. In fact, many schools have cool, offbeat essay questions that really provide you with the opportunity to present the admissions committee with new insight as to who you are. Take a chance!

Get out of your comfort zone! Go out on a limb and take a stab at the question that helps you paint a unique and compelling self-portrait. And if your dream school presents you with some of the old standards, remember to approach the subject from the most unique angle you can.

Immediately I was stunned trying to think of the events that must have lead up to this moment and how this student was going to swing this into a positive light. I had to read on. The student went on about how he developed the strength and technique needed to be successful in the position and how that experience shaped him into the man he had become.

We want you to expand upon a few characteristics that make you great, not just give us a list with the thousand and one things that contribute to your greatness.

Getting Started on Your College Essay

The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school. In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling.


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The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave. They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency.


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  7. The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest.

    It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea. After dinner, we would all play Wii Sports together. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. Afterward, we would gather in the living room and Danielle would play the piano while the rest of us sang hymns. Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them.

    By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone; the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family; the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children; Mrs. In short:. He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs one per family.

    When he reveals each lesson at the end, one after the other, we sense how all these seemingly random events are connected. We realize this writer has been carefully constructing this piece all along; we see the underlying structure. Each of the first five paragraphs works to SHOW. See how distinct each family is? He does this through specific images and objects. Q: Why did he just show us all these details?

    A: To demonstrate what each family has taught him. He also goes one step further. Q: So what am I going to do with all these lessons? Identify your single greatest strength in this case, it was his ability to adapt to whatever life gave him. Ask: how did I learn this? Show 2: "the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family" implication: he doesn't have this with his own family.

    Show 3: "the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children. Show 4: "Mrs. Ortiz taught me the value of discipline. This essay was written for the U of Chicago "Create your own prompt" essay. The author included the following explanatory note:.


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    I plan to double major in biochemistry and English and my main essay explains my passion for the former; here is a writing sample that illustrates my enthusiasm for the latter. In my AP Literature class, my teacher posed a question to which students had to write a creative response.

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    Personal experience essay - The Writing Center.

    A: A manicured green field of grass blades cut to perfectly matched lengths; a blue expanse ornamented with puffy cotton clouds; an immaculately painted red barn centered exactly at the top of a hill--the chicken gazes contentedly at his picturesque world. Within an area surrounded by a shiny silver fence, he looks around at his friends: roosters pecking at a feast of grains and hens lounging on luxurious cushions of hay. On a day as pristine as all the others, the chicken is happily eating his lunchtime meal as the nice man carefully gathers the smooth white eggs when it notices that the man has left one behind.

    Strangely located at the empty end of the metal enclosure, highlighted by the bright yellow sun, the white egg appears to the chicken different from the rest. The chicken moves towards the light to tacitly inform the man of his mistake. But then the chicken notices a jagged gray line on the otherwise flawless egg. Hypnotized and appalled, the chicken watches as the line turns into a crack and a small beak attached to a fuzzy yellow head pokes out. Suddenly a shadow descends over the chicken and the nice man snatches the egg--the baby chick--and stomps off.

    The chicken--confused, betrayed, disturbed--slowly lifts its eyes from the now empty ground. For the first time, it looks past the silver fence of the cage and notices an unkempt sweep of colossal brown and green grasses opposite its impeccably crafted surroundings. Cautiously, it inches closer to the barrier, farther from the unbelievable perfection of the farm, and discovers a wide sea of black gravel. Stained with gray stones and marked with yellow lines, it separates the chicken from the opposite field. The curious chicken quickly shuffles to Mother Hen, who has just settled on to her throne of hay and is closing her eyes.

    I-I just saw one of those eggs, cracking, and there was a small yellow bird inside. It was a baby. Are those eggs that the nice man takes away babies? And that black ground!

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    What is it? Her eyes flick open. Frozen in disbelief, the chicken tries to make sense of her harsh words. It replays the incident in its head. Maybe Mother Hen is right. She just wants to protect me from losing it all. What if it was hers? The chicken knows it must escape; it has to get to the other side. Then the man reaches into the wooden coop, his back to the entrance.

    With a backwards glance at his friends, the chicken feels a profound sadness and pity for their ignorance. It wants to urge them to open their eyes, to see what they are sacrificing for materialistic pleasures, but he knows they will not surrender the false reality.

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