Enrolling at a two-year community college gave me the opportunity to sift through different areas of study and find what worked for me. General education courses and a varied curriculum offered a wide lens through which I could see what different fields had to offer, and find a true fit. It wasn’t easy. I took classes ranging from applied sciences to ceramics, and—of course—I liked almost everything I tried! Then I took an anatomy and physiology course during the spring of my first year at ABC Community College, and it hit me. I realized that the medical field would allow me to help people while constantly learning, exploring different facets of the work.
In high school, I became involved in as many extracurricular activities as I could, getting elected to student council and playing varsity baseball, joining groups like the school improvement team, and yes, even the art club. I was intrigued by nearly every class I took, eager to dissect things in physiology or pick apart the ideas of Faulkner in American literature. I’ve wanted to be everything from an engineer to a chef to a professional baseball player. A friend once described me as a guidance counselor’s worst nightmare.
Once again, this is a student who knows his audience. No Admissions Officer wants to be the one to deny the application of the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerburg.
This paragraph provides additional information as to exactly how the author came to acquire the skills and expertise to launch an origami business in second grade. Without saying so explicitly, the author conveys the fact that he is a pretty clever fellow – much, or perhaps even most of what he learned he picked up in manuals – yet was so accomplished that his classmates’ eyes, “beamed with wonder”. Most of the information provided in the second paragraph is narrative – except this: “As I grew I was haunted by an aspiration to become an entrepreneur.”
As you might expect, there is a wide range of topics addressed in the collection of essays that made a difference, but the commonality is that in every case, the student who wrote the essay was admitted into the majority of schools to which he or she applied – not all of the schools, but the majority of them.
A UChicago supplement essay that responds to our question with a topic you see as interesting and compelling (that is, of course, well thought through and edited reasonably) will shine out much more than following a standard “college essay” format.
We think our questions are pretty neat, and would love to see what you do with one of them, so we don’t suggest re-using an essay from class, another school, or from your common/universal app personal statement for this essay.
While we welcome fun explorations of new topics, sometimes we do see students who come up with some kind of “schtick” they think helps them stand out (case in point: an essay written entirely backwards, or an acrostic poem).
We want you to use this as a time to be creative, to take a prompt and run with it in the way that you think represents what’s going on in your brain best.
These are the kinds of intellectual encounters you’ll have on our campus every day; it’s rare that a professor will ask you to explain how your loss in the big sports game affected you, but very common for someone to ask you a question you’ve never encountered, and to see how you work with it.
My name is Alan Stransman, and through this website, I help students write compelling Common App Essays, specifically, and College Admission essays, in general.
It is, however, a past application essay question for the University of Chicago—one of many we’ve amassed in the years we’ve asked “uncommon” questions.
An argument that people got pretty worked up for, and invoked their beliefs to settle, ended up being completely empty.I was happy to challenge my definition of belief.
If you are one of the almost 1000 students every month who look for Common App Essay examples, you are certainly doing the right thing, as there is a lot that you can learn from essay examples – bad essays as well as good one.
It may have taken me longer to get here, and my path probably had a few more twists and turns in it than most, but every activity I begged my dad to let me do and every extracurricular club I joined complemented my course work and shaped who I am. XYZ University’s physical therapy program will lead me to the necessary bachelor’s and doctoral degrees I need to succeed in a profession I know will leave me fulfilled—and hold my interest—throughout my professional life.