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11 months ago
Admissions Advice

Cliche Essay Topic?
Answered

Hi all!

As COVID-19 has me inside all summer since my intended activities have been canceled, I have decided what better way to spend my time then to get a head start on my college essays! I have decided on writing my Common App essay on Prompt #5. To get prepared to write my essay, I started by just reading some example essays as well as reading what not to do in the essays. A big tip that I saw what not do was to write on cliche topics (i.e. sports injury, mission trips), and the more that I think about it the more I'm afraid that my topic is cliche and won't be seriously considered by an admissions officer. I plan to write about how I used to be in my former best friends' shadows and how transferring schools caused me to explore outside my comfort zone and use my voice. I feel that without that event in my life, I wouldn't have spoken out and I wouldn't have started my social media page dedicated to teaching kids and teens about the Black Lives Matter Movement and my podcast dedicated to helping teens. Would this be viewed as a cliche topic that anyone could write about in their application or could this truly be viewed as a unique essay? Thanks in advance!

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@izzyb11 months ago

I think writing about something considered cliche is fine as long as you write it extremely well. Don't worry too much! Just keep writing until you like it. Good luck!

@zpx3
expert
11 months ago

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4 answers

2
Accepted Answer
11 months ago

My suggestion would be to draft this essay and see how it turns out. It's cliche, but if it's extremely well-written and a twist on the ordinary or expected answer, it could still be a good one to submit. It's a risk, of course, but it's worth a shot. That said, I'd also try to brainstorm and draft other ideas to see if you find one that's better and more unique. If you don't, that's okay too. Like I said, this could turn out to be amazing, but you need to make sure it will stand out, which could prove difficult with a topic like this. Remember, sometimes your first idea isn't the best one, and some of the best college essays are about little things in which you were directly involved or a catalyst of.

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11 months ago

I think writing about something considered cliche is fine as long as you write it extremely well. Don't worry too much! Just keep writing until you like it. Good luck! (thank you zpx3)

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11 months ago

You could argue that it's cliche, but if you write it really well and really highlight your passion, motivation, and drive, it could be a great essay. I would get started on writing it, share it on here for review, share with family and friends, etc. If you argue how coronavirus was actually a positive thing for you, that wouldn't be too cliche, as most people are probably going to emphasize its negative impacts. Overall, I would say go for it!

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11 months ago

So like Izzy says cliche is okay if there is a twist or if it is very well written but I have questions about the out of friends shadow part as I’d gloss over that and focus more on new friends at new school. Also in August the prompts will reset so anything saved in CommonApp will not carry over so save it to google docs or word.

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