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Smith College 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

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Smith College 2020-21 Application Essay Question Explanations

It’s almost de rigeur for a small liberal arts school like Smith to have a quirky supplement. So here you go! The prompt is so straightforward and the word limit so low that this might feel like a trap. But it’s not! The only challenge here is getting out of your own head.

The Requirements: 1 essay of 200 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball

Music means so many things to so many people. It can bring us joy, inspire us, validate us or heal us. Please tell us about a song or piece of music that is particularly meaningful to you and why. Please include the name of the song/piece and the artist.

In general, the most successful answers to these sorts of oddball questions spring from a genuine interest or instinct. It’s just easier to have fun writing about something that you genuinely enjoy and feel deeply about. In other words, don’t say you think you’re most inspired by Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major if you’ve never actually listened to Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major — it’s as simple as that! But what’s fun about this prompt is that the wording leaves it open to interpretation. “A song or piece of music” could literally be any song, past, present, or (gasp) future. Your reason can range from the song’s content to its more technical elements.  Maybe you actually would want to pick a song by Bach because you’ve been playing the cello since you were five, and your dream is to one day perform the piece in front of an adoring crowd. Or perhaps you strongly believe in the power of the Top 40, and have used the empowering words of Lady Gaga’s discography to find a truer way of expressing yourself than ever before! To come up with the perfect idea (that you can express clearly in no more than 200 words!), give yourself some time to brainstorm. Jot down as many ideas and combinations as you can come up with — no judgments allowed! Then narrow them down until you find the idea that works best, and feels the most true and meaningful to you.

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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