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For many high school seniors, it can be maddeningly frustrating to choose the “right” Common App essay topic because the options are so broad.
(These prompts are unchanged from the 2018-19 application season.) As we noted in a previous blog post, prompt number 7 actually grants students permission to write their own essay question and respond to it. Despite (or perhaps in light of) all this intellectual and creative freedom, you may find yourself stuck.
Don’t worry, one of the most common questions all high schoolers have is, “What should I write my college essay about?
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Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school résumé and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application.
Common App Sample Essays
You're trying to show colleges your best self, so it might seem counterintuitive to willingly acknowledge a time you struggled.The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result.Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged.Don’t forget to explain why the problem is important to you!Just like Prompt #2, the accomplishment or event you write about can be anything from a major milestone to a smaller "aha" moment.Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed.Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance!That’s why the last piece of this prompt is essential.We've compiled a list of real Common App essays from past students that were accepted into some great universities! What makes a college essay strong isn’t necessary its theme, but the personal and reflective story that emerges from that theme.