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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
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4.0
SAT: 720 math
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| 800 verbal
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In need of college application essay inspiration!

Mid-junior year and already feeling the pressure of crafting the perfect college application essay. I hear a lot about 'showing' rather than 'telling' and having a hook, but I’m stuck. Anyone willing to share their brainstorming process or how you found that perfect story to tell in your essay?

7 months ago

Absolutely, I'd be happy to help with that! The brainstorming process can be quite personal, but a good starting point is to think about moments in your life that were transformative or when you learned a significant lesson. Reflect on experiences that reveal your character, values, and passions. Don't shy away from moments of failure or struggle, as these can be particularly telling; colleges are interested in your resilience and growth.

Jot down a few events or experiences that stand out to you, and then try to dig deeper into why they were meaningful. It can also be useful to examine your daily life for small moments that might reveal a lot about who you are. Sometimes what seems mundane on the surface might hold a deeper story or lesson when you look at it from another angle. For instance, a student once wrote a compelling essay about how organizing the bookshelf in their room was a metaphor for sorting out their thoughts and priorities in life. Remember, the 'perfect' story is authentic and reflective of who you are. Colleges are looking to understand you better, not just read a dramatic tale.

Lastly, don't rush it. Good stories take time to develop, and your first idea might not be the one you end up with. Keep reflecting and discussing your ideas with friends, family, or a counselor to help you see the gems in your own experiences.

7 months ago

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