|By Thedilettante (Thedilettante) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 01:00 am: Edit|
Hi, i am a senior who's just decided my first choice college and started to fill the apps. I am really thrown off by the questions colleges throw at me in their app. i feel that i do not understand the questions completely. like the quesiton
"at the university of michigan, we are committed to building a superb educational community with students of diverse talents, experiences, opinions, and cultural backgrounds. what would you as an individual bring to our campus commniuty?"
i do not know what i can do for the community, how should i approach this question? what is the college looking for from me? any research that i should do for this question?
"what led you to choose the area of interest that you have listed in your application to the university of michigan? If you are undecided, what area are you most interested in? and why?
this is even harder for me; i am an undecided, how do i even begin to pick a topic that will interest me? or explain why? any research that i should do for this question?
"Describe a setback or ethical dilemma that you have faced. how did you resolve it? how did the outcome affect you? if something similar happened in the future, how would you react?
this is the question that i have the least problems in. i plan to write about my experiences of learning english when i moved here. but what would i say for "if something similar happened in the future, how would you react?" ?\
i am really stressing over this and any feedback would help me a great deal. thank you for reading this post and any feedbacks are GREATLY appreciated(i would bow to you if i see you in person, i am DEAD serious).
|By Yugekorb (Yugekorb) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 07:02 am: Edit|
1. well, didn't you say that you had come to America from another country?
2. They realize that you may not know exactly what you want to do. Even if you had a planned major, they understand that you may change it in the future. In fact, most people do change their major at least once. Just write about something that interests you. If nothing interests you, then why would you even considering going to college.
3. That's a fine topic to write about.
3b. Simply say that you would be comfortable learning the language and you would be able to pick up on it quicker. I can't really think of anything right now, still tired.
|By Cherrybarry (Cherrybarry) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit|
I'm applying to Michigan too.
For the first essay, do we have to be creative like the longer essay, or can we flat out state what we would bring to the campus?
It's only 250 words and I don't see how I can explain myself if I used a creative technique. Is it better to focus on one contribution or many that you could bring to the campus?
|By Shaka (Shaka) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit|
i dunno about learning english when you come here...unless you came like 2 years ago or somethin...otherwise, there's like 100000 people with that same topic
|By Thedilettante (Thedilettante) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit|
hm... thank you for the feedbacks, i guess i should change my topic for the third essay to be how hard it was to come to America. About the clash of cultures, need to conform, principles that i had to give up, and other hardships involving academic and social life... how does that sound? or is it too mundane also...? Anyone else with an opinion or solution to my problems? (Especially on the first, second topic, and part 2 of the thrid topic) Again, all feedbacks to this post is greatly appreciated.
|By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 07:18 pm: Edit|
Essays are tough!! But remember the purpose of the essays--they are a chance for you to get what you consider your strongest points in front of the admissions committee, besides your grades and test scores. Essays give you a chance to put a human face to the 2 or 3 pages of written material that the college has about you.
You shouldn't be thinking, "How do I answer these essay questions that they have asked of me?" You should be thinking, "What 2 or 3 things do I REALLY want to tell an admissions officer about me and how do I manage to do that in context of the essay questions they ask me?"
Let me give you the example of my D, who applied last year to colleges. She really wanted to highlight her love of science and her EC involvement with music.
Essay Q 1: this essay would have been written about music--how much she loves it, the ways she's been involved with it during her life, how she would continue to be involved on the college level (maybe even mention some musical groups that interested her--highlights how she'd add or contribute to the college community).
[This question is tailor made to talk in depth about a particular EC or volunteer work, how it affected you, how you plan to continue it at college. The college wants to think that you won't spend your whole time at school locked up in the library studying. Give them something to chew on.]
Essay Q 2: this essay would have been written about science--how her experience throughout her school years led to her interest in science lab work, her a summer lab experience, what she hopes to accomplish with her degree in the future, what programs/majors or policies at the university (student research?) interested her.
[If you don't have a major picked out, examine what you find interesting and write about that area. If you don't find anything interesting, just pick something out of a hat and consider your essay a creative writing assignment.]
Essay Q 3: this is the chance to explain any personal circumstances that may have affected your GPA/test scores or that highlight the mountains of obstacles you had to overcome to get to where you are today. You just came to the country, you live in a one parent home, you're poor, you are recovering from cancer, your mother died recently, all of the above--you get the picture. The essay shouldn't just be a tale of woe, but should highlight what you did/learned, etc. because of the obstacles.
[This one is tough for someone who doesn't have a tale of woe or who hasn't had major obstacles to overcome! My D wrote about being the slowest runner on the high school team and still competing in the face of such "lack of success" and how she would bring that same attitude to college.]
Remember your goal--get those 2 or 3 bullet points before the admissions committee!
|By Thedilettante (Thedilettante) on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit|
ty soo much ellemenope for your tips. i thought about writing those factors that affected my GPA/test scores, how i am poor comparing to the rest of the community, how i live with one parent, how i have trouble with learning the new customs..etc... it just that the tone i radiate would seem a bit sad and it would seem that i am trying to elicit sympathy from the admission committee. is there any way that i can convey these ideas in a more optimistic fashion? thx
|By Nngmm (Nngmm) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 03:24 pm: Edit|
It does not matter much what do you write about, rather how you write it. You want your personality to shine through those essays. Don't write whiny stories and try to make people feel sorry for you - it will not gain you admission. Instead show how you are working on overcoming those difficulties, how your multicultural background can be an asset for the college community, show some passion for something you would like to do in the future...
|By Thedilettante (Thedilettante) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit|
hm... key idea that nngmm hit on there. "college community," that gave me an idea of how to start on that part of the essay. Any other tips would be cool, and i noticed that charrybarry's question
"For the first [and second] essay, do we have to be creative like the longer essay, or can we flat out state what we would bring to the campus"
wasn't really answered. Do we have to be creative about the 1st and 2nd essay? what are ways i can approach this being creative (or without creativity)?
|By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 01:52 am: Edit|
For the 250 word essays, I would approach them as you do for the others with that same level of creative writing, not simply stating your answers. While it may feel tricky because it is much shorter of an essay, it still should be in the same style as one you write that is longer. You just can't have an introductory paragraph nor as in depth of a story. My D just sent hers in today and her 250 word essays were of the same creative nature as the longer essay.
|By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit|
the diverse talents, experiences, opinions, and cultural backgrounds question should be an easy one for the OP. Just like they say, colleges want to build a class where students meet others who are different from them, who have different experiences & backgrounds (provided they are PC -- a religious or conservative person is not the diversity they seek )
But the OP should be able to hit this one out of the park. One huge reason to learn a foreign language is so that you can experience another culture from the inside. Coming from a non-english-speaking culture there are so many ways you could answer this -- the different perspective you have of the US, or how your view of your home country differs from american perceptions, or cultural difference, and so on. The list is endless, but the key is it has to come from the heart. You aren't crafting words, you're trying to communicate to the adcoms why you're an unique and valuable person who will contribute to the class they are assembling.
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