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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-1,000 words.
This is your chance to show you are receptive to change and open to learning. Try to think outside of the general “teaching” community and highlight an unexpected source from which or from whom you have learned something. Maybe your dog taught you about unconditional love; maybe your vegetable garden taught you about caring for living things. Remember that this lesson may have also come from a freak accident or a series of events over the course of years. Either way, get specific. Take the reader into your mind and help us understand what you went through to come out the other side changed.
One way to tap into your experience in a unique way is to explore your perspective before, during, and after the event or experience and note what shifted or changed in you. No matter the event or source of the lesson, be sure to get a little vulnerable and be willing to admit you weren’t born perfect, but are growing and evolving.
Even though this prompt doesn’t contain the word, this is a community essay through and through. Villanova wants to know where you come from, the community you were raised in, and what you will contribute to their campus community. Maybe you were born and raised in “Music City” a.k.a. Nashville, Tennessee and you hope to bring your love of bluegrass to campus with you in the form of your amazing banjo skills. Perhaps you are from a tiny fishing village, in which you know and look out for your neighbors as if they were family, and you plan to bring that same welcoming spirit with you to Villanova. Try to avoid truisms like “it takes a village” and, instead, explore who/what contributed to each part of you and how. Even if you feel like you came from an “average” town, dig around in your memory for the specifics that affected you growing up. One place to start: What is your town known for? Local agriculture/food trends? Natural land structures or climate? Regardless of the story you choose to tell, your response to this prompt should say something about where you come from, who you are, and who you will become at Villanova.
P.S. – If you wrote your Common App essay in response to Prompt #1, you might want to choose to respond to one of the other prompts to avoid any risk of topic overlap!
This prompt can elicit a variety of topics, from standing up for someone in need to convincing your family to do “meatless Mondays.” Don’t feel like you have to explain how you changed the WORLD here, but know that your actions have affected others and, even if you haven’t thought about it before, your choices matter. Admissions wants to know that you can reflect and appreciate the ripple effects of your actions. It may be helpful to first think of a way someone else’s choice has affected you and reflect on the changes you have made yourself. In the age of “social media influencers,” how do you influence people in your real life?