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The Requirements: 3 short essays
Sure, admissions is asking about clubs, sports teams, youth groups, and online communities, but what admissions is REALLY asking is: What is important to you? How do you want to be remembered? To get started, reflect on what you consider your “home away from home” at school. This can be a physical place (the soccer field, auditorium, art studio) or just a gathering of people (LGBTQ club, student council). Don’t merely describe your group or role, take time to analyze why you value it. Now, moving on to the second part: your legacy — such an official fancy word! It simply refers to how you will be remembered or how your actions will affect those who come after you. Is there a metaphorical door that you broke down so others could walk through? Did you branch off from drama club and start an improv comedy troupe? Remember, athletic records and homecoming court tend to be low-hanging fruit when it comes to legacy… let’s try to dig a little deeper and get to more meaningful participation and achievement! (No offense to Buffy and Brody; long live the king and queen!)
At a max of 100 words, you don’t have a ton of space to expound your experience, so get straight to the point with this one. Take a look at your activity resume and visualize a day in the life of each job or activity. Admissions officers can assume that a job at a bookstore means you’re probably a bookworm, but do they know how many customers you managed to make genuine connections with over your shared enthusiasm for the works of John Green? Admissions knows that being an artist can be exhausting and frustrating, but do they know about the bursts of energy and happiness you get when other people on the internet like, share, and comment on your work? Share with Bryn Mawr the experiences that may go unnoticed and use this as an opportunity to show them a new side of you.
If you’ve looked at any other supplements before this one, you have probably already seen some version of this question: why here? In almost every case, the objective is the same and twofold: (1) You need to demonstrate a solid knowledge of what the school has to offer. And (2) you should leverage that knowledge to clearly demonstrate your interest in the school. So, start by researching Bryn Mawr (and yes, you will need to do this for every Why essay), directing your attention to the departments, majors, and other opportunities that interest you. What do you want to learn? Read about professors and notable alumni in your field—is there any research going on or awards that interest you? Pick out classes to take and clubs to join, visualizing yourself there. But remember, this essay is relatively short, so once you have at least a page of notes, try to zero in on one central idea as a foundation for your essay: Are you can’t-feel-feel-your-face excited about the prospect of studying at a women’s college in the Northeast? Will the Growth and Structure of Cities major set you up for a successful career in urban planning? (More bicycle lanes, please!) Whatever you choose, make sure your short answer reveals something important about who you are and what you value about Bryn Mawr.