2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Stereotypical Essay Topic

I'm from Kenya which is pretty well-known for ecotourism and other environment-related things. I am very involved in environmentalism because of this, including volunteering in National Park cleanup programs, creating a school recycling program, and fundraising for a local charity that will go towards lion conservation.

I have 2 potential college essays, one about debate society and overcoming my stage fright, and the second is about environmentalism. I talk about seeing the last male Northern White Rhino and about how the wildlife in Kenya is being threatened, and have a bit about what I've done to help the environment. I'm pretty passionate about it, have done a lot related to it, and I think that coming from Kenya helps me stand out as an environmentalism-focused applicant.

On the other hand, I've been told that its a stereotypical essay for my country. Everyone here knows about environmentalism since its such a big part of our lives.

Should I use my environmentalism essay? It might make me stand out from applicants from the US or other countries, but from a Kenyan perspective its a very basic topic. Is that a concern?

Also, the amount we raised for the lions was equivalent to just over $2000 USD, but here that is a pretty substantial sum. It doesn't sound like much from a US perspective though, at least that's what I think after reading other people's essays mentioning raising anywhere from $8k to hundreds of thousands. I've mentioned the amount raised in Kenya shillings (250,000) somewhere else in my application, should I remove that since it seems like a small amount?

Thanks in advance for the help :)

@rsri2 years ago

i support you talking about environmentalism entirely because of your passion for it. Passion is something many students try incorporating into their writing, but then it visibly exaggerated. When your passionate about something your essay is always 10 times better. It may be stereotypical but it's a personal topic that ties in to your passions and interests.

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Accepted Answer
2 years ago

I think writing from your perspective as a Kenyan wouldn't be stereotypical here in the US. Also, even if it is, your passion and drive for the topic would make the essay better than what you would write about debate. I think your personal values could also be more clearly articulated, and your unique background would stand out to colleges. I think the monetary amount raised shouldn't be a problem, although you could explain why this amount is impactful in Kenya if you are still concerned. Hope this helps! :)

2 years ago

Write about what you're passionate about, thats whats going to stand out the most. Environmentalism is not a basic topic in the US. But just like any other topic, even if others use the same one you must have something that makes yours different!

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