Hey Seniors! Are you stressed about college supplemental essays?
DONT BE! We got you!!!
**also if you are not a senior- STOP- don't worry. We are going to be sending more non-senior stuff NEXT week so just hang on!!***
We understand that this time of year may be stressful as your minds struggle to cope with the many questions regarding the application process, but we’re here to help you relieve some of these confusing thoughts. Speaking of help, today’s topic is supplemental essays. So LET'S DIVE IN!!
We’re sure that you all have spent countless hours establishing and perfecting your academic profile, but there’s only so much room on your application. With limited space and opportunities for you to expand on your academics and extracurriculars, you must use every chance you get to elaborate on a different aspect of your profile. For example, while your resume and essay highlight your main, most important activities and stories, the supplemental essays should highlight something different about you that is not mentioned anywhere else on your application.
Let's give you an example to make sure you get it.
So let's say your activities are as follows:
-High School Tutor
-Scholastic Art Gold Key Winner
-Varsity Soccer Player
-Volunteering at the Temple
And your essay is about your favorite dish your mom makes- homemade sausage lasagna... YUMMY!! :)
And your supplemental essay is the following prompt:
Tell us about a time that you have encountered a challenge.
Do NOT write about the time you burnt your tongue on your mom's lasagna because that would be repeating a topic you have already explained to them.
As the current college application season is overlapping with a global pandemic, supplemental essays are more important than ever before (THANKS COVID!!), but don’t let this make you anxious. From another perspective, these supplemental essays are a gift (yes really!) given to students as they are additional opportunities in which applicants can describe who they really are to the reader. Imagine you are on a date with the college and you are trying to tell them everything you can about yourself before the meal arrives. What are the important things you would want them to know?
So are the prompts the same every year? How do I write THAT many essays??? Colleges/universities often have supplemental essays which change annually, but many of the essay prompts from various schools ask you to describe, expand, or elaborate on the same underlying idea. So what should you do?? We think it would be beneficial for applicants to create a spreadsheet outlining the universities they will be applying to and the key points required for each supplemental essay. This way, you can recycle parts of your supplemental essays, which would allow you to use their time more efficiently. Work smarter, not harder folks!!. Here is an example: **Note- these are not the actual supplemental topics for these schools**
What are some common topics that I should get ready for? Common topics include significant memories, activities/adventures, facing challenges, experiences of failure, and goals/commitments. There is also the traditional "Why [insert college] essays" (we will help you with those in another post later on!!) Remember that it’s encouraged to come up with a topic personal to you as long as your essay conveys valuable information regarding your personality that is POSITIVE and PAINTS YOU IN A GOOD LIGHT. You want the school to fall in love with who you are as a person, so it is okay, to be honest (and we want you to be!), but be careful about being TOO honest. Don't tell us about that one time you had diarrhea after your grandma's chicken casserole (that's TMI!).
In conclusion, write your supplemental essays from the heart; they should be about you and should highlight important values and stories that are were important memories from your life. Try not to repeat other areas of your application. Prove to your dream school that YOU are their ideal candidate! We hope this helps!
Stay tuned for our next post this next Sunday night!
If you need more help with the college admissions process, reach out to a member of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pair you with an advisor to get you started!