2
a year ago
Admissions Advice

Is it bad to write my personal essay about my experience with a school project?

I am a senior currently I would like to write about a project I did in middle school. It was one of those projects projects where you have to do all the work yourself and in doing so I discovered things about myself like that I like to debate, am curious and open minded, etc. however, I know it is suggested to right personal essays about something other than academics, and this might be a bad topic for that.

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@maplecreamcookies
expert
a year ago

Could you provide the prompt and school? Also, I just want to say that writing about something from before high school is generally not encouraged either, unfortunately.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@JayMea year ago

I was going to do the common app prompt, "Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others." I know it’s a pretty bad topic to write about but I’m really struggling with thinking of any interesting events to discuss.

@EMa year ago

Concerning using writing an essay about a topic that occurred before high schools, I asked a few admin officers and they said it doesn't matter as long as it had a strong impact on you.

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2 answers

2
a year ago[edited]

No topic is a bad topic unless it’s super disputable or controversial. Ur topic sounds personal and important to u and there is nothing bad about mentioning it. The essay in general is one place that gives u the freedom to mention something significant to ur life and to me it sounds like this project is close to ur heart. So I suggest u go for it : )

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1
a year ago

Since you're already feeling uncertain about this topic, and because this experience is from middle school, I'd recommend avoiding it - especially since this is for the Common App, which all schools will see. Colleges want to know what kind of person you are currently, and not who you were in middle school. If you feel very strongly about this experience, you could make it work, but only if you focus less on the middle school part, and more on your growth throughout high school that was sparked by the project.

Also, keep in mind that the experience you choose doesn't have to be extremely unique or eye-catching. You can write a fantastic essay about a more common experience - people have written strong essays about Costco or taking a shower! What matters is that you're sharing your personality and voice.

I'm going to link a couple resources that might help:

https://blog.collegevine.com/what-if-i-dont-have-anything-interesting-to-write-about-in-my-college-essay/

https://blog.collegevine.com/common-app-essay-examples/

Let me know if you have more questions!

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