4 months ago
Admissions Advice

Personal Insight Question help

As I scanned through the personal insight questions and saw well-written examples of answers to those questions I realized that I'm not so unique. Now I'm not looking for pity or "you are unique" I just need help on how I should still show I am able to offer something to the UCs even if I haven't gone through some great struggle if you get what I mean. For example, the question about your favorite subject, I love science & I want to pursue a career in the medical field but I haven't done anything outside of school so how would I go about that. Another example is my greatest struggle, my greatest struggle is mental health although that wouldn't uplift me or make me look like a good applicant, would make me look more vulnerable. So if I hadn't had any huge challenges what would I even write about? Not to sound privileged or asking for pity just need some straightforward advice, thank you in advance.

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @Kalani.Ka to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Hi, I am similar to you in that I come from a background/place where I can not find a lot of extracurricular activities that is related to my interest (Science). I have not written personal college essays, yet, so I am not really sure if I am the right person to help, but I think by advising you with some topics/ideas, I might help myself as well.

I think if you are not a senior yet, you should probably try making a club related to Science. Pioneering clubs is one of the good extracurricular activities out there, I believe.

If you are going to be a senior, and it is too late to find an extracurricular activity you like, I would like to ask you why you were not able to find those kinds of extracurricular activities. Was it due to a lack of resources? Maybe no one told you about them?

I'm not sure if this is true, but I think if you live somewhere where there is little opportunity, then it is okay to not have those extracurricular activities.

I was reading through some college essays a few days ago and I realized that your essays do not have to be about something major in your life. I think it could be something simple, but you learn something in it. For example, someone wrote about a toy car and somehow integrated that into a whole, broader, insightful topic, and it was impressive.

Just like the other answers below, you can think of your classes. You must have taken at least one Science course. Was there a unique event that happened? Maybe you struggled in a course and overcame this struggle. Think about little struggles. You must have at least one struggle in your life. With a friend? Class? However, after you write about your struggles, you should probably end in a positive note. What did you learn from this? Don't just present your struggles and end it there. Colleges and universities want to see how you overcame those struggles.

I hope this helps.

4 months ago[edited]

Getting topics to write about is probably the most prevalent challenge in writing an essay. Everyone struggles at this: even the directors behind the most amazing film, and the authors behind the most amazing books. They often spend weeks, even years, coming up with a good idea.

However, college essay topics should not take as long as you think. Think about all your activities for the past few years (ECs, classes taken, etc). Is there a common theme among all of them? It may not be obvious at first, but all our decisions are guided by something more meaningful. If you can find the force that guides you, that could be your topic. Otherwise, you could try focusing on one moment where your passion really showed itself. Remember, that moment does not have to be big. A capable writer can make anything sound interesting, and based on the wording of your question, you do seem capable of this.

Furthermore, colleges do not care which challenge you have had. There are a ton of people out there who also have the feeling of never being challenged. But what colleges really want to see is how you react to challenges. They can be as simple as studying for a test, or as complex as a breakup. There have been a lot of applicants who wrote about mundane topicss for challenges and got into amazing schools. What you should do for this topic is to think about anytime which you may have struggled, or when something didn't go your way. A lot more falls under this umbrella, but the main thing you have to do is demonstrate your reaction to these challenges. Make sure these reactions are positive in your essay too.


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works