4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Question about whether my topic for common app essay topic is a cliche or not

I am a senior and starting the college application essays, I am thinking about writing an essay about how my perception of friendship changed during the summer I visited my home country for the first time in 3 years since I came to the United States and met my friends and family there for the first time in a long time.


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Accepted Answer
4 years ago

Writing essays on changes on perspectives, growth or maturing process is actually a very good device to use. As said by admission officer Mark in Yale Admissions Office Podcast ( https://admissions.yale.edu/podcast, Episode 4: Essays: What Works), essays that show growth and a change in perspective are ones that when well written can leave the officer with a clear picture of yourself.

The change in perception of friendship can be a very compelling topic to write about if you can relate it to how it made you grow tothe person you are today and shed a light into your interests and passions. For example if you mention that (I don't know what your insights on the topic are) appreciating friendships under a new light made you see help given by your friends differently, and that made you be a better team worker and achieve X accomplishment.

See, the point is that no topic is cliché if the way you've written it is original and unique. And the best way to do it is by being authentic. You are the only person with your experiences and background and realizations, so faithfully writing about you and your thoughts will come through as unique no matter how "common" the theme may be.

You can also discuss how double identity has developed you into the person you are, maybe dab into the struggles with that and the learnings and pros you've perceived too.

Try to vividly describe your first POV, in a few lines or the first paragraph. Then use the remaining space to thoroughly develop the experience of change but most importantly the reflection part. The reflection is the most important part because it shows how far you've come, how you presently think and how you've used those learnings and applied them to your life. Good luck.

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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