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Common App Essay: Students with unique backgrounds

Hey guys, I'm working on my Common App essay and was thinking of writing about my unique background. For those of you who've written about your own background or identity, can you share some examples of how you approached it? I'd love some inspiration to kickstart my writing process! I appreciate any help!

6 months ago

Sure thing! Writing about your unique background or identity can be a fruitful approach for a Common App essay, as long as it demonstrates how your experiences have shaped you and contributed to your personal growth.

When dealing with this topic, it's vital to avoid cliches and focus on aspects of your background that have played a significant role in your life. You can consider incorporating the following elements to make your essay stand out:

1. Unique anecdotes: Use vivid anecdotes that emphasize a particular moment or experience that highlights your background and conveys your values, challenges you've overcome, or personal growth. For example, if you come from a military family, you could share a story of how moving frequently has taught you resilience and adaptability.

2. Perspective: Link your unique background to how it's shaped your beliefs, perspectives, or aspirations. Perhaps growing up in a multilingual household has influenced your passion for linguistics, or being raised by a single parent has made you more resourceful and appreciative of the value of support systems.

3. Overcoming challenges: Reflect on any adversities or obstacles you've faced that stem from your background, and demonstrate your growth and newfound resilience as a result. For instance, if you have a disability, you might describe how you've utilized creativity to navigate challenges, or the lessons you've learned by advocating for yourself and others.

4. Contribution to the community: Show how your unique background has enabled you to make positive contributions to your community or school. For example, if you're passionate about environmental causes, you could discuss how growing up near a polluted river drove you to set up a local cleanup initiative.

Remember to make your essay personal and focus on depth rather than breadth. Concentrate on a few specific aspects of your background and explore how these have contributed to your personal journey and future aspirations. Good luck with your writing!

6 months ago

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