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The Requirements: 2 essays of 300 words each
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball
If you feel yourself gravitating toward this prompt, you’re likely the type of person who enjoys gassing other people up and affecting the people around you in a positive way. So, when was a time you made someone, or multiple people, feel empowered? Maybe it was the time you gave your little brother a pep talk before his first debate. Or, perhaps, one of the reasons you love being captain of your soccer team is because you get to lead the pre-game huddle and choose the after-game hangout spot. Whatever time or moment you decide to write about, be sure to highlight what it means to you to make the people around you be their best selves. (Bonus points if you can predict how you will continue to have this impact on campus next fall!)
Admissions is looking for thoughtful reflection in your response to this prompt. It takes courage to be able to own up to a mistake and admit, “I was wrong.” In your essay, try not to get caught up in why you didn’t take the advice the first time around, and instead spend your words discussing the outcome and how you righted the wrong. How would you go about things differently if the situation were to present itself again? Maybe you write about a time when your parents gave you advice that you didn’t follow. (What do parents know anyway?! A lot, as it turns out.) Or, perhaps, the advice came from a mentor or even a peer. So long as you’re demonstrating accountability and a growth mindset, admissions will be impressed.
An essay inspired by this question can tackle anything from a formal event to a very small occurrence. After all, it can be the little moments that offer us the most insight. Maybe you want to write about your experience working full-time so you could buy your first car, and how the relationships you forged in the meantime with coworkers expanded your horizons. Or, perhaps, you’d like to tell admissions about the time you went on a backpacking trip through Eastern Europe with your older cousins. What was that like? What did you discover about the world and yourself? As long as you can answer with originality and put a unique and meaningful twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game.
If you feel pulled toward this prompt, by all means, lean into it. Being vulnerable takes courage, and it isn’t easy! What makes us feel vulnerable is often what sets us apart from the pack. Maybe when you were little, you were diagnosed with a condition that impacted your movement and ability to run around with friends. How has that shaped your experience interacting with the world around you? (“I developed a passion for murder mysteries and rainy days!”) Or, perhaps, you struggle with social anxiety and just showing up to school can take a whole lot of bravery and determination. How do you get yourself out the door each morning? And how has your personality been impacted by this? (“I’m stronger than I realized!”) Remember that your goal with this essay (and all college essays!) is to reveal new information about yourself to admissions that they couldn’t find anywhere else on your application.