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The Requirements: 2 short essays, 1 optional essay
Community essays are a dime a dozen as far as supplemental essays are concerned, so it’s very possible to recycle and adapt an essay you’ve already drafted for this prompt. If, however, you have yet to write a Community essay, make yourself comfortable–we’ve got some advice!
Clark wants to know about who you are and what you’d like to do when you’re not cramming for exams and soaking up your professor’s sage wisdom next year. Start by thinking about the here and now. Where can you be found after school? How do you spend your weekends? Think of something that gets you interacting with others or diving deep into your area of expertise. Admissions wants to know what your area of influence will look like at Clark: an on-campus job, a unique hobby, or maybe an organization to which you contribute innovative ideas and exquisite brownie decorating skills. (Bake sale, anyone?) Finally, remember to address how you hope Clark’s community will shape your identity. Which clubs do you hope to join and how will they help you to achieve your goals? Whatever you write about, make sure your response to this prompt shows that you have put some serious thought into what your life will look like at Clark University.
Take a look at your activity resume and visualize your “day in the life” for each job or activity. Admissions officers know that working at a bakery demands punctuality, but do they know how to make fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth raspberry muffins (your speciality)? Admissions knows that working at an after-school program can be exhausting, but do they know the sense of pride you feel when your student reads a new word aloud for the first time? Share with Clark the experiences that may go unnoticed and use this as an opportunity to show admissions a new side of yourself!
This is Clark’s version of the Additional Info essay, with a focus on academics. It’s what we call in the biz a “break in case of emergency” essay–which means that, unless you have something crucial to explain to admissions, you should skip it. Think about it: If you were an admissions officer, would you really want to read one more essay per applicant?
That being said, this essay is perfect for students who have encountered outstanding challenges and need an opportunity to explain them. In fact, we recommend omitting such info from your other writing and saving those details for an Additional Info essay, so that you can use the rest of your application to highlight other parts of your amazing personality. So, if something has happened that affected your academic performance, this is a great opportunity to explain the circumstances. Did a family emergency or illness cause an overall drop in your GPA? A drop in grades does not define you. Remember to make this essay not about the things you couldn’t control, but the actions you took to improve the situation. You don’t want to come off as a victim of circumstance, but as a resilient person who can take steps to positively affect their situation!