2 months ago
Admissions Advice

CommonApp Essay Idea - Webtoons

Hi, so I'm a senior living in Thailand.

My first application deadline for an IVY League School is November 1st. Most of my classmates are done writing their CommonApp essay, but I am having trouble with finding a topic.

I did start my essay. It's about my slight hearing loss + music. However, I've been told that it's a little cliche (not the hearing loss, but the topic about music, since a lot of students applying to top schools are also interested in music).

I'm also not a good writer (not being humble, this is a truth). Therefore, I want to change my topic. If I was a good writer, I think I would have stuck with my original topic, but I'm not, and after rewriting the same topic over and over again, I kind of realized I might have to change the topic.

I had one topic in mind, but it seemed too shallow/not serious, so I didn't write about this. I just want to know your opinion.

By the way, my SAT score, AP scores, GPA are all good, so my main priority is my CommonApp essay. People say that this essay will determine whether I will get in or not, so it's really important to me (and other students as well).

Topic: Webtoons

How I'm going to write this essay: Introduction will be maybe a sentence or two about how I started reading webtoons (because I'm that typical school nerd who used to classify webtoons as a distraction and a taboo).

Then, the body paragraph will talk about how webtoons sort of became a distraction, a safe refuge for me because I got to run away from the reality that I am in. To be honest, my life isn't that miserable, but I'm a sensitive person, so I think I got stressed a lot trying to keep up with the expectations and hearing all these comments about me.

I'm that stereotypical nerdy Asian girl who is short and an introvert. I have health problems such as asthma, slight hearing loss, and a bunch of allergies. People seemed to disregard me and mock me for just because the quiet person in a class full of white extroverts (no offense). I also have high expectations from teachers and fellow students because they think I'm really studious. I'm the oldest in my family (my dad lives away from us because of his work), making me someone who has to take care of my younger sister and set a good example to my sister (our family is that traditional Asian family where the oldest has to be the head of the family-ish, well not quite that, since I'm female, but I can tell that people expect me to be very mature and responsible).

The last few paragraphs could be about how I started acknowledging the reality of the world, realizing that I was running away from my fears of facing the harsh world. I learned to meet real people. Although I still read webtoons, I read them as a pastime, a hobby, and nothing more.

How is this? Does it have potential? Is it unique?

Thank you.


Earn karma by helping others:

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

3 answers

2 months ago

First of all, girl, mood. (Short girl with slight hearing loss and webtoon escapism advocate here...)

Second of all, I think it's a good topic, but I actually think your original topic would be just as good, if not better. "Music" in general could be a little cliché, yes, but adding your hearing loss to the mix sets you apart and could really be a good way to symbolize personal growth (maybe your appreciation for "x" in life grows in parallel to your appreciation for music as your hearing deteriorates? I don't know how it is for you really - just throwing spaghetti at the wall).

Your new topic is pretty original, I think, but you'll have to be careful with it. I highly doubt this would happen, but you don't want it to end up as a "I'm not like other girls" essay. Admissions officers don't want a sob story that tries to guilt them into accepting you (though again, I highly doubt this is what you're writing about) - they want to hear about personal growth. Definitely tell the officers what you were dealing with, as it shows strength to deal with all of that, but don't go overboard and make half your essay about your struggles rather than YOU and how you overcame them. I think as long as you focus on the part where you evolve from escaping responsibility/stress to facing the world for all it is, it's fantastic.

In general, you just want to be aware that your audience is reading the essay without any prior knowledge of you, so they may read it in a completely different way than you intended (speaking from experience here). Any allusions/symbols/metaphors you make to real-life situations will have to be explained.

I definitely think if handled right it could be a fantastic essay, but as you would any essay make sure to go through several different drafts and get a dozen different opinions so you make sure it comes across how you want it to.

I think both of your topics are very good starting points and have the potential to be a great essay. The music one might have more potential for symbolism/metaphor, if you want to include that, but if you feel your skills aren't up to that there is absolutely no shame in going with something you're more comfortable with. It's better to pull of a simplistic essay that is really well written than one that attempts to do something far beyond your skill level.

I'm excited to hear what you end up with. Good luck!!

(P.S. which webtoons are your favorite??)

2 months ago

I honestly think it is very honest and you are open about it. Your flow of ideas might be a little shaky though. What prompt are you answering? Otherwise with the right words and flow of ideas this could be a very compelling read.

2 months ago

I honestly think it is very honest and you are open about it. Your flow of ideas might be a little shaky though. What prompt are you answering? Otherwise with the right words and flow of ideas this could be a very compelling read.


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