a year ago
Admissions Advice

Advice on Personal Statement Topic?

Hi, I am trying to decide what essay topic is best for me. So far, I have drafted an essay about my relationship with mental illness and how music helped me. I also have drafts for an essay about my natural curiosity/love for learning, and another essay about my very mixed ethnicity.

I am applying to Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Tufts, and some more Ivy's, and I want to be a vet, so I am planning on majoring in animal science, microbiology, or biomedical sciences.

I know that sometimes it is taboo to speak about mental illness on college applications, but I feel like it was such a large part of my life and made me a better person. I also incorporated about how music allows me to express myself and understand others. A lot of my essay is about how I was determined to get better, and succeeded.

Is this a good idea (especially for Ivy schools) or am I better off with one of my other drafts?

Also, should I specify what mental illness I had or is that tmi?

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

I believe the topic about your mental illness and how music helped you is allowed as your essay. Remember, your topic is quite significant to your admissions chances but how you execute your story through your writing is a thousand times more important than the actual topic. If it is a widely known mental illness like depression or anxiety, I would personally mention it so it will allow the reader to understand your essay to its full extent, but do so only if YOU are comfortable. Even if you do not specify the illness you will still have a valid story to tell.


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