Check out our Common App Essay Prompt Guide!
Emory wants to know more about you and what interests you. This is an opportunity to show a part of yourself to admissions that they wouldn’t otherwise see on your application. Serve them some personality. When considering this prompt, think critically about what you’re trying to communicate to admissions. What will admissions infer from the selection itself? And how can you discuss your choice in a way that will reveal something interesting about you? Will your recent viewing of Dear Evan Hansen show how in tune you are with the impact of social media in the modern age? Did Stranger in a Strange Land stoke your curiosity about life on other planets? Make sure your response has more depth to it than, “the play was interesting,” or “I thought the book was funny.” Your answer should say something about your thought processes, interests, and passions.
It can be easy to look at this prompt and think, “What do you mean what motivates me? I have to go to school — it’s the law!” With that behind you, focus on your favorite subject or subjects that really stoke your curiosity. What homework assignments are you clamoring to complete first? Which topics make you want to open up a new book, google the definition of word you’re not familiar with or hit play on a podcast? Now consider what about the subject itself is inspiring your pursuit of knowledge. Are you driven by the mastery of cold, hard facts and the possibility of finding a definite answer? Maybe seeing the products of other people’s imaginations is more fascinating to you. Regardless of what floats your boat, Emory University is aiming to bring self-motivated, deep thinkers into their student body. Admissions officers want to know that you’ll be eager to contribute to lively class discussion and maybe conduct research in your latter years on campus. Show them that you’ll be a valuable addition to any classroom setting.
This is a “community” essay, but with a twist. Most community-centric prompts ask you to describe a community you belong to and your place within that community. Emory’s prompt asks you to reflect on what, in your mind, is most valuable about a community you currently belong to. What are you going to miss about the interesting perspectives in your cross-cultural meetup? Or the friendly faces in your local ASPCA? While the prompt assumes that you will be “leaving” the community you describe, note that you can communicate to admissions that you’d like to contribute to a community of a similar nature on the Emory campus. Do some research and see if you can find a local chapter of the ASPCA that you can connect with. Emory is looking to see what you’ll enjoy in their community and how you will contribute to their campus based on your interests and level of commitment to activities and groups in the past.
We all heard about the students whose Harvard acceptance offers were rescinded when the Ivy League discovered their offensive and controversial memes within a private Facebook group. Emory wants to know they won’t have to worry about this happening to you. Beyond that, they are seeking individuals who have a depth of understanding about the current communications climate. Coming from a generation that is infamous for growing up with technology and social media at your fingertips, it may seem like a given that all students have thought carefully about the implications of their posts and snapchats, but that is clearly not the case. Have you ever encountered offensive material on social media, maybe cyberbullying or insensitive slurs? What effect did this behavior have on you and why is it important to you to maintain a thoughtful and responsible social media presence? Show Emory that you understand the impact of your footprint, digital or otherwise.