9 months ago
Admissions Advice

how have you changed in the last 3 years?

Hi! I am senior in high school and this is one of the short answer question I have received. Can someone help me to write this? I have no idea how to tackle this question with this short word limit :30 words


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
9 months ago

Well, this essay obviously needs to show GROWTH, and because it asks in “the last 3 years”, I suppose you would have to be more general than specific.

My example related to major; reflect on an event where you were compelled to seek more knowledge: “Over the years, I’ve become fascinated with [some desire that relates to major]! I decided to [what have you done to show this desire?]. I plan to continue my passions throughout school.”

My example related to perspective; recount an experience where your views changed: “Once I was [some event you were apart of] and it had [what did it do?]. I now consider [the life “message” or “theme” you received from the event] to be very important to me...”

Essentially, what you want to do in this essay should resemble the common-app-type essays. The larger difference is that it is only 30 words. Hence, you must be straight to the point and meaningful. Of course it will be difficult to choose any one topic, but this prompt is testing your ability to be very concise. The key elements of this essay is GROWTH + PERSONAL.

If you think—“Oh, I don’t feel I have changed, I’ve always been interested in (blah blah)”—then you should approach this essay through a more specific, more unique perspective; my formulated example: I had once thought of fish to be slimy, useless creatures, but seeing that their importance to an ecosystem is profound, I’ve learned to appreciate the protection of the environment!” (30w).

Now ask yourself, what is your “fish” and what is you newly appreciated “environment”? Whatever it happens to be, connect them!

Hope this provides insight on the thinking process of this essay! Good luck!

9 months ago

OFHanson has an awesome answer, so I just want to point out a couple things:

- You don't need to talk about your entire life; you only have 30 words, so try to hone in on one specific way you've changed. That said, try not to make it too superficial, like going from hating tuna sandwiches to loving them (it should be clear that it impacts your life in a relatively significant way). You could use this opportunity to be funny or quirky, but only if it reinforces the personality that comes through on the rest of your application.

- Don't repeat the prompt; you only have 30 words, so don't waste space saying "In the past 3 years, I've changed by..."

Hope this helps, and best of luck! This may be an interesting "essay" to submit through the Peer Essay Review, if you want some feedback :)


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