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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Common App Essay Prompt 5

Hey everyone! I'm currently working on my college essays and planning to write for Common App prompt 5, the one about an event or realization that sparked personal growth. Can anyone who's experienced this process give any advice or what worked well for them? I'm feeling a bit stuck. TIA!

7 months ago

Hello! It's normal to feel stuck when you're first starting out on your essay. I'm glad you reached out for help. Common App Prompt 5 can lead to interesting, reflective essays if approached in the right way. Here's some advice to consider as you work through the writing process:

1. Choose a unique, specific event/realization: Instead of writing about a generic experience, pick something personal and specific to you. It could be an interaction, a moment during an activity, or a subtle change in your thoughts, as long as it was a genuine turning point for your personal growth.

2. Show, don't tell: Describe the event or realization in detail using sensory language and vivid imagery. This will help your reader put themselves in your shoes and understand the significance of the experience.

3. Reflect on your personal growth: Explain how this event led to a deeper understanding of yourself, others, or the world around you. Were your values, beliefs, or goals challenged or changed because of this experience? Be sure to spend ample time discussing the impact, including both short-term and long-term effects on your life.

4. Keep your focus narrow: Try not to get too wide-ranging in your essay. Stay focused on one key moment or realization and dive deep instead of trying to cover multiple experiences or ideas.

5. Edit and revise: After writing your initial draft, take some time away from it and revisit it with fresh eyes. This will help you identify areas for improvement, such as clarity, organization, and tone. Don't be afraid to make structural changes and rewrite portions of your essay that may not be contributing to your overarching message. A well-polished essay will leave a stronger impression on admissions officers.

6. Seek feedback: Share your essay with teachers, mentors, or trusted friends for constructive criticism. They can provide valuable insights and help you further refine your essay. Just remember to stay true to your own voice.

Best of luck as you work on your essay! Remember to stay authentic, take your time, and be open to revisions. You've got this!

7 months ago

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