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What are some unique UC essay topics to stand out?

Hi there! I want to make sure my UC application is unique and showcases my personality. Are there any unique essay topics that you think could catch an admissions officer's attention? Looking for some inspiration. Thank you!

7 months ago

Hello! It's great that you're aiming to make your UC application stand out with unique essay topics. While it's essential to choose a topic that aligns with your authentic experiences, even more than it is to choose an unusual or eye-catching one, I can suggest some themes that could provide inspiration for a less common approach:

1. Unconventional learning experiences: Share a story about how you pursued knowledge outside of the classroom, be it through online courses, informal tutelage from a mentor, or a hands-on experience. Explain the impact of this learning approach on your development and aspirations.

2. Hobbies with a twist: While common hobbies like playing an instrument, creative writing, or sports are not necessarily unique essay topics, you can focus on a special aspect of your hobby that led to a transformative experience or an unusual goal. Or, if you have a truly unusual hobby like birdwatching or knitting your own socks, that could be a great topic to explore.

3. Overcoming an uncommon challenge: Write about a unique obstacle you've faced in your life that doesn't typically fall under the usual narratives. This could include an atypical living situation, or overcoming a phobia that interfered with your daily life, and how you dealt with it.

4. An unexpected role model or influence: Discuss someone who has influenced your life and why, but consider choosing a less conventional figure, such as a fictional character, a historical figure, or an individual outside your immediate social circle. Just make sure your essay stays focused on you—you're the one the UC schools are thinking of accepting, after all!

5. A defining moment or experience: Describe an event that may seem relatively insignificant at first glance, but had a profound impact on your personal growth, values, or goals. This approach can provide a unique window into your thought process and character.

If you want more inspiration, check out CollegeVine's master post on applying to the UC schools (https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-university-of-california-essays), as well as some examples from real students of excellent UC essays (https://blog.collegevine.com/university-of-california-essay-examples). Once you have a draft of your own, also remember that CollegeVine offers both free peer essay reviews and paid reviews by expert college admissions advisors.

Remember to be genuine and truthful in your essays and focus on your personal experiences, rather than broad points about the world in general, to make sure that your own voice comes through clearly in your writing. Good luck with your UC application!

7 months ago

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