How to write a college admissions essay the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot.
Diversity is about more than race and ethnicity. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. When I sat down to write this essay, I tried, as my high school English teacher always instructed, to imagine the audience for my writing. The more I thought about it, the more I pitied the college admissions screeners who would be reading a thousand essays on diversity. Along with the expected takes on race and ethnicity, how many of those essays would present their authors as outcasts, loners, kids who didn’t fit in at his or her school? Let me be direct: in some ways, I am the antithesis of what one might picture as a student who contributes to campus diversity. I have no physical handicaps or mental challenges apart from a tendency towards sarcasm.
Fitch and lounging on a blanket in the sun, I think, those people are not like me. Simply put, I am a Goth. I wear black, lots of it. I have piercings and how to write a college admissions essay gauges and tattoos. My hair, naturally the same sandy blonde that the rest of my family shares, is dyed jet, sometimes highlighted in streaks of purple or scarlet.
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I rarely smile, and I don’t do sun. If I were inserted into those brochure photographs of typical college students, I would look like a vampire stalking her wholesome prey. Again, I am imagining my reading audience, and I can almost see my readers’ eyes roll. So you’re a little weird, kid. How does that contribute to campus diversity? Well, I think I contribute plenty.
To give just one example, I am planning to major in Environmental Studies, and while it might seem odd to picture a ghoulishly-dressed girl who adores the natural world, it was my Goth outlook that led me to this academic interest. I know Goths look a little funny, as we wear our ebony trench coats in seventy-degree weather. I know we seem a little odd as we gather in shady nooks to discuss the latest episode of True Blood. I know professors may sigh as we swell the enrollments of poetry and art classes. And we—I—have a lot to contribute. Writing about identity or diversity for the Common Application essay presents a writer with specific challenges.
In general, Carrie’s title works fine. It clearly captures the subject of the essay—approaching Goth with an open mind. Also, the allusion to John Lennon’s «Give Peace a Chance» is appropriate given the song’s message about acceptance and understanding. It’s not a title that is highly original, and it isn’t the best hook for grabbing the reader’s attention, but it is still a solid title. Carrie takes a risk in her essay.
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