What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How should I describe a life event in my essay that prepared me for college?

So I'm drafting my college essay and I've got this life event that really impacted me and I think it shows I'm ready for college. But how do I describe it in a way that's compelling and not just telling a story? Any advice from those who tackled something similar?

7 months ago

When you're describing a life event in your college essay, it's important to focus on reflection, rather than merely recounting the event. Think about how this experience has shaped your perspective, influenced your goals, or contributed to your character development.

Start by setting the scene to engage the reader, then swiftly move to express how this event was pivotal in your personal growth. Show rather than tell; for example, if you're writing about how you overcame a challenge, detail the steps you took and the resourcefulness or resilience you displayed with active descriptions and action rather than a passive explanation. You want to make it clear why this event makes you a strong candidate for college by connecting it to attributes like determination, leadership, or a passion for learning. Remember to close your essay by looking forward; explain how the event has prepared you for the challenges of college and beyond, and how it will inform your contributions to the college community.

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.