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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 177 college essay examples for 11 schools + expert analysis.

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College Admissions , College Essays


The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.


Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018


Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.


Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.


Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.


An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.


An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.


Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.


#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .


What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

College admissions essays are an important part of your college application and gives you the chance to show colleges and universities your character and experiences. This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay.

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Writing a strong college admissions essay

Learn about the elements of a solid admissions essay.

Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes

Learn some of the most common mistakes made on college essays

Brainstorming tips for your college essay

Stuck on what to write your college essay about? Here are some exercises to help you get started.

How formal should the tone of your college essay be?

Learn how formal your college essay should be and get tips on how to bring out your natural voice.

Taking your college essay to the next level

Hear an admissions expert discuss the appropriate level of depth necessary in your college essay.

Student Stories


Student Story: Admissions essay about a formative experience

Get the perspective of a current college student on how he approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about personal identity

Get the perspective of a current college student on how she approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about community impact

Student story: admissions essay about a past mistake, how to write a college application essay, tips for writing an effective application essay, sample college essay 1 with feedback, sample college essay 2 with feedback.

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College Essays That Worked: See Examples

Experts say a good college essay features a student's voice and personality.

Wide shot of diligent young woman sitting on the living room floor, studying for university and writing homework in her notebook.

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Students should know themselves and write authoritatively so they can share a sense of their lives with admissions officers.

Many college applications require a personal essay, which can be daunting for students to write.

But a few simple tips, some introspection and insight into what admissions officers are looking for can help ease the pressure. U.S. News has compiled several college essay examples that helped students get into school. Shared by admissions staff or referenced from admissions websites, these essays stand out, they say, because the student voices shine, helping the school get to know the applicants.

"Students can get caught in the trap of overthinking it and write the essay that's going to impress the admissions committee," says Andrew Strickler, dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College . "The best essays, the ones that really pop, are the ones that come across as authentic and you really hear the student's voice."

The essay gives schools a feel for how a student writes, but it's the content of the essay that matters most, admissions professionals say. In other words, while it's important to showcase sound grammar and writing, it's even more important to showcase your character and personality.

"I care more about their stories than if it is a perfect five paragraph essay," David Graves, interim director of admissions at the University of Georgia , wrote in an email.

Many schools give students a wide range of topics to choose from, which experts say can be beneficial in helping students find their voice.

While you want your voice to be apparent, it's wise to be aware of your tone, says Allen Koh, CEO of Cardinal Education, an admissions consulting company that works with students to craft and revise their college essays. The goal of the essay is to make a strong case for why you’re different from all the other applicants, not necessarily why you’re better, he adds.

"You have to pass the genuine likability test. Sometimes kids are so busy trying to brag or tell their story that they’re forgetting they have to sound like a likable person. That’s a very simple test, but it’s really important."

Good essays tend to be "positively emotional," he says. It's best to avoid using sarcasm because it tends to fail on college essays.

Any humor used "really has to be a very positive, witty humor, not sarcastic," which he says can be hard to pick up on in an essay.

The Perils of Using AI for Essays

Choosing the right tone can be a challenge for many students, but admissions pros encourage them not to take shortcuts to completing their essay.

Though some college professors have embraced artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT in their classrooms, Strickler says he's begun to stress in recent talks with high school audiences the importance of original work and avoiding the use of AI tools like ChatGPT to craft college essays. While it might produce a technically well-written essay and save time, your unique voice will be stripped away, and it may leave a bad impression on admissions offices as well as prevent them from truly getting to know you, he says.

Instead, Graves says, start early and take time to write it yourself, then "actually read it out loud to someone ... to listen to the rhythm and words as they are 'read.'"

Each spring on his admissions blog , Graves shares an enrolling student's essay and why it was strong. The essay excerpted below, shared with the permission of the University of Georgia, uses descriptive word choice and gives the admissions office deep insight into the student's life, their love for writing and their connection to their family, Graves says.

It was chosen as an example "to show our applicant pool how to express themselves through similes, sensory language (words that capture the senses of the reader), and emotion," Graves wrote on the blog.

Here's how the essay opened:

If you asked me what object I’d save in a burning fire, I’d save my notebook. My notebook isn’t just any notebook, it’s bubble gum pink with purple tie dye swirls, and has gold coil binding it together. But more importantly, it’s the key that unlocked my superpower, sending me soaring into the sky, flying high above any problems that could ever catch me. However, my notebook is simply the key. My real power rests in the depths of my mind, in my passion for writing. But to know how my powers came to be (not from a spider or a special rock), I must travel back to the first spark.
Four years ago, I wrote my first 6-word memoir in my eighth-grade rhetoric class. Inspired by my father’s recently diagnosed terminal illness, I wrote “Take his words, don’t take him”. It was as if all the energy of my powers surged into six meaningful words meant to honor the man that I would soon lose to a villain known as ALS. This was the first time I felt my writing. Three years ago, my dad’s disease severely progressed. The ALS seized his ability to speak and locked it in a tower with no key. The only way we could communicate was with an old spiral notebook. ...

The essay counted down each year ("three years ago," "two years ago," etc.) and concluded with this paragraph:

One month ago, I needed my powers more than ever before. I needed them to convey who I truly am for the chance at the future of my dreams as a writer. Except this time, I didn’t need the key because my powers grew into fruition. Instead, I opened my laptop only to type out one sentence… “If you asked me what object to save in a burning fire, I’d save my notebook.”

This style of storytelling, which shows not just the triumph at the end but also the conflict, struggle and evolution in between, makes for great essays, Koh says.

"The student also used an intriguing timeline (counting down years and month) to tell their story, and showed how she had grown," Graves says.

This next essay, by an anonymous writer and shared on Connecticut College 's admissions page , "manages to capture multiple aspects of the writer's personality, while not becoming overly cluttered or confusing," writes Susanna Matthews, associate director of admission at the school.

Every person who truly knows me believes that I was born in the wrong century. They call me "an old soul" because I'm a collector, attracted to books, antiques, vinyl records and anything from the 80's. But they also think I am unique in other ways. I believe it is because of the meaningful connections to my two languages and two cultures.
When we moved into our first American house, I was excited to decorate my new room. The first thing I knew I needed was a place to organize my most cherished possessions I have collected throughout my life. I searched and finally found a bookshelf with twenty-five thick sections that I could build and organize alphabetically ... Each shelf holds important objects from different parts of my life. ...
These books are a strong connection to my Brazilian heritage. They also remind me of the time when I was growing up in Brazil, as a member of a large Italian-Brazilian family.

The writer continues on, describing the types of books on each shelf, from Harry Potter to books used to learn English. They describe the bottom of the bookshelf housing some of their most prized possessions, like an old typewriter their grandfather gave them. They wonder about the words it has crafted and stories it has told.

As I grab my favorite Elvis vinyl to play, I can only wonder about the next chapter of my life. I look forward to adding new books, new friends, and a wide variety of experiences to my bookshelf.

"By placing one subject (the bookshelf) at the center of the piece, it lends some flexibility to layer in much more detail than if they had tried to discuss a few different interests in the essay," Matthews writes. "You learn a lot about the person, in a way that isn't in your face – a great thing when trying to write a personal essay."

Some colleges require a supplemental essay in addition to the personal statement. Typically, admissions pros note, these essays are shorter and focus on answering a specific question posed by the college.

The University of Chicago in Illinois allows students to submit essay prompts as inspiration for the admissions office and gives students some latitude in how they answer them. Essay prompts range from questions about the school itself to asking students to pick a question from a song title or lyric and give their best shot at answering it.

"We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions," the school's admissions website reads. "They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between."

While the University of Chicago says there is no strict word limit on its supplemental essays, other schools prefer brevity. For example, Stanford University in California asks students to answer several short questions, with a 50-word limit, in addition to answering three essay questions in 100 to 250 words.

Georgia asks for a school-specific supplemental essay that's 200-300 words in addition to a 250- to 650-word personal essay.

"Sometimes a shorter essay response is not as polished an essay, but instead is a more casual, more relaxed essay," Graves says. "In addition, sometimes a student needs to get to the point or be concise, and this helps see if they can give us their story without overdoing it."

Other schools allow for a little more creativity in how the supplemental essay questions are answered. Babson College in Massachusetts, for example, gives students a 500-word limit to answer a prompt, or they can choose to submit a one-minute video about why they chose to apply to the school.

One student, Gabrielle Alias, chose to film a "day-in-the-life" video , which she narrated to answer the prompt, "Who Am I?"

"Visiting campus twice, I know I could see myself as one of the many interesting, innovative, and enticing students that come out of Babson," she says in the video. "But who am I you ask? I am a student. I am a reader. I am a researcher. I am a music lover. ... I am Gabrielle Alias and I am excited for who I will be as a graduate of Babson."

An essay by Babson student Bessie Shiroki, seen below, describes her experience in the school's admissions office and how she immediately felt comfortable.

I immediately smiled at the sight of my favorite board game. Babsonopoly. I love the combination of strategy and luck in this traditional family pastime. Seeing this on the wall in the admissions office gave me immediate comfort; I knew I was home.

Shiroki describes what she felt set Babson College apart from other schools, such as being surrounded by "sophisticated and mature individuals" and a tight-knit, entrepreneurial environment that would help her reach her career goals.

It is natural for me to be in a small class where more than one language is spoken. I am accustomed to discussions with diverse viewpoints, open minds, and where differences are seen as advantages. I embrace my cultural uniqueness, and I will add my voice to the community. I can’t imagine not continuing this in college.

She notes that as she toured the campus and saw students studying, she could see herself as one of them, feeding off of their studious and entrepreneurial energy. She mentions that Babson's Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship class got her attention immediately and she saw it as a launch pad for a future that included running a business.

Babson recognizes the potential of their students, and FME is a great way for young entrepreneurs like me to find our place in the business world and learn from our mistakes. I am capable of this challenge and will conquer it with tenacity. I will bring my dedication, commitment, and innovative skills to Babson College.
Now it’s my turn to pass go and collect my Babson acceptance letter. I’ve found my next challenge.

Babson College offers several tips for what make good essays, including a strong "hook" to engage the reader from the start and a topic that allows you to share something that's not as obvious on your application.

When it comes to writing a college admissions essay – whether personal or supplemental – experts advise students to follow these rules:

  • Find your voice.
  • Write about a topic that matters to you.
  • Share your personality.
  • Express yourself.
  • Proofread extensively.

With both traditional essays and supplemental essays, Koh says it's best to write long and work with someone you trust to edit it down. Teachers, friends and parents can all be helpful proofreaders, but experts note that the student voice should remain intact.

A good editor can help edit a long essay to keep the main message but with fewer words. “If I see 400 words, I know I’m a dozen drafts away from getting it to 650,” he says. “If I see 1200 words, we might just be one or two away. It’s at least going to be a shorter haul.”

Strickler encourages students not to stress too much over the essay or put unnecessary weight on it as part of their college application . While a strong essay helps, he says, it doesn't make or break an application.

"There's this sense that you write the most amazing essay and it gets you over the top because it opens the door to the pathway to the Magic Kingdom," he says. "But it's just one piece of a myriad of pieces that allow us to get to know a particular student and help us figure out if they're a good fit and how they're going to contribute to our community."

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How to Write a Great College Essay Introduction | Examples

Published on October 4, 2021 by Meredith Testa . Revised on August 14, 2023 by Kirsten Courault.

Admissions officers read thousands of essays each application season, and they may devote as little as five minutes to reviewing a student’s entire application. That means it’s critical to have a well-structured essay with a compelling introduction. As you write and revise your essay , look for opportunities to make your introduction more engaging.

There’s one golden rule for a great introduction: don’t give too much away . Your reader shouldn’t be able to guess the entire trajectory of the essay after reading the first sentence. A striking or unexpected opening captures the reader’s attention, raises questions, and makes them want to keep reading to the end .

Table of contents

Start with a surprise, start with a vivid, specific image, avoid clichés, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

A great introduction often has an element of mystery. Consider the following opening statement.

This opener is unexpected, even bizarre—what could this student be getting at? How can you be bad at breathing?

The student goes on to describe her experience with asthma and how it has affected her life. It’s not a strange topic, but the introduction is certainly intriguing. This sentence keeps the admissions officer reading, giving the student more of an opportunity to keep their attention and make her point.

In a sea of essays with standard openings such as “One life-changing experience for me was …” or “I overcame an obstacle when …,” this introduction stands out. The student could have used either of those more generic introductions, but neither would have been as successful.

This type of introduction is a true “hook”—it’s highly attention-grabbing, and the reader has to keep reading to understand.

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If your topic doesn’t lend itself to such a surprising opener, you can also start with a vivid, specific description.

Many essays focus on a particular experience, and describing one moment from that experience can draw the reader in. You could focus on small details of what you could see and feel, or drop the reader right into the middle of the story with dialogue or action.

Some students choose to write more broadly about themselves and use some sort of object or metaphor as the focus. If that’s the type of essay you’d like to write, you can describe that object in vivid detail, encouraging the reader to imagine it.

Cliché essay introductions express ideas that are stereotypical or generally thought of as conventional wisdom. Ideas like “My family made me who I am today” or “I accomplished my goals through hard work and determination” may genuinely reflect your life experience, but they aren’t unique or particularly insightful.

Unoriginal essay introductions are easily forgotten and don’t demonstrate a high level of creative thinking. A college essay is intended to give insight into the personality and background of an applicant, so a standard, one-size-fits-all introduction may lead admissions officers to think they are dealing with a standard, unremarkable applicant.

Quotes can often fall into the category of cliché essay openers. There are some circumstances in which using a quote might make sense—for example, you could quote an important piece of advice or insight from someone important in your life. But for most essays, quotes aren’t necessary, and they may make your essay seem uninspired.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

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The introduction of your college essay is the first thing admissions officers will read and therefore your most important opportunity to stand out. An excellent introduction will keep admissions officers reading, allowing you to tell them what you want them to know.

The key to a strong college essay introduction is not to give too much away. Try to start with a surprising statement or image that raises questions and compels the reader to find out more.

Cliché openers in a college essay introduction are usually general and applicable to many students and situations. Most successful introductions are specific: they only work for the unique essay that follows.

In most cases, quoting other people isn’t a good way to start your college essay . Admissions officers want to hear your thoughts about yourself, and quotes often don’t achieve that. Unless a quote truly adds something important to your essay that it otherwise wouldn’t have, you probably shouldn’t include it.

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8 College Essay Topics

Exploring college essay topics.

Good college essay topics are as varied and widespread as the universities that require them. So, students will encounter many college application essay formats throughout the admissions process. These include the standard college admission essay, supplemental essay, personal statement, and personal challenge essay, to name a few. 

Whether it’s the “why Northwestern” essay or the Columbia essay prompts, good college essay topics help schools learn more about you and your life experiences. So, you should work to find compelling college essay ideas that reflect your identity. This will help you craft strong responses to any college essay topics you encounter.

Generating college essay ideas

Many students want to know how to write better essays. Students also might wonder how to start a college essay—after all, finding the right “hook” for your college essays can make a major difference. In this guide, we’ll walk you through every aspect of the essay process. 

Different college essay topics require different types of responses. For instance, a “why major” essay should not read the same way as an extracurricular activities essay. Reading college essay examples can also help when considering how to approach different college essay topics. 

This article will look at some of the common categories for college essay topics. We’ll also provide some college essay tips and discuss what makes a great college essay stand out from the rest. Most importantly, we’ll discuss how to write better essays so you feel prepared to start the process.

College Admission Essays

Before we discuss different college essay topics, let’s delve into a bit more context. Specifically, let’s discuss what a college admission essay is and why most top schools require them. 

A college admission essay is a written response, usually between 150 and 650 words, to a specific question or prompt on a college application. Some essays, like the Common Application essay, are standardized. Students have up to 650 words to respond to one of seven college essay topics that every Common Application school receives. 

Other college application essays are considered supplemental essays. These supplemental essays are unique to each individual college or university, though these college essay topics do tend to fall into some common categories. Some school essay requirements, like the NYU supplemental essays, also vary based on the program you apply to.

Understanding the college essay format

Whether it’s a personal statement or supplemental essay, the college application essay format is meant to help admissions officers get to know students better. The college essay format also allows applicants to share information about themselves that may not be clear from the rest of their application. In addition, these college essay examples allow admissions officers to evaluate each student’s character, writing ability, and overall fit for their school.

Good college essay topics help admissions officers to get to know students. So, the best college admission essays provide personal details not found elsewhere in a student’s application. What makes a great college essay is that it could only have been written by the person who submits it. That means you should highlight specific details about your life and experiences. Remember that your college essays are your only chance to provide admissions officers with some insight as to who you are, so don’t hold back!

What are the most common college essay topics?

Most college essay examples fall into one of the following general categories. Although language in individual prompts may vary, the college application essay format will often look like one of the following:

8 Most Common College Essay Topics

1. personal statement.

The personal statement category includes college essay topics about your life and experiences. A personal statement will often pertain to a challenging moment in your life or a time in which you grew or learned a lesson. For most students, the personal statement is akin to the Common App essay. 

2. “Why School” Essay

The why school essay is one of the most common examples of supplemental essays. These college essay topics ask students to describe why they believe a particular college is a good fit for them.

3. “Why Major” Essay

The why major essay asks students to describe why they are interested in the major that they listed on their application. This college application essay format is more common at large universities, where students may be applying to a specific school or program within the school.

4. Personal Challenge Essay

These college essay topics ask students to reflect on a specific obstacle they have overcome in their lives. The requirements are similar to those of the personal statement, where the subject is the writer’s personal life.

5. Cultural Diversity Essay

The cultural diversity essay asks students to reflect on their heritage and how their unique background has influenced their life. Colleges often seek to recruit a diverse student body, and these college essays allow students to share how they would fit into that environment.

6. Extracurricular Activities Essay

These essays ask students to describe an activity they have done during their high school years and how it has prepared them to succeed in college. These are often short essays, meaning that their word counts tend to be 150 or fewer.

7. Unique College Essay

Some good college essay topics do not fit into one of the categories above. Instead, these essays ask students to think outside the box by responding to an unorthodox prompt. These college essay ideas are often some of the most difficult to write about.

Personal Statement

Our first category within our college essay topics is the personal statement. You’ll likely submit a personal statement to every school where you apply. 

As the name suggests, you should be the subject of your personal statement. Likewise, the essay should showcase the parts of yourself that you want to feature. The prompts for essays in this category vary widely. However, the most common example of a personal statement that you will encounter is the Common Application essay.

Although the Common Application essay prompts do change from year to year, they all pertain to your life and experiences. Plus, nearly all of the top schools in the country that use the Common Application require you to answer one of its essay prompts. Listed below are the essay prompts for the 2023-2024 Common Application :

Common App Essay Prompts

1. some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. if this sounds like you, then please share your story., 2. the lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. how did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience, 3. reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. what prompted your thinking what was the outcome, 4. reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. how has this gratitude affected or motivated you, 5. discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others., 6. describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. why does it captivate you what or who do you turn to when you want to learn more, 7. share an essay on any topic of your choice. it can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design., how to write a college essay about yourself.

The most important step in how to write better essays is to focus on yourself. At times, it can feel uncomfortable to focus the entire essay on your accomplishments. However, remember that this essay should help your reader get to know you better. So, before you start writing, think about what aspects of your character you want to showcase. In fact, when generating college essay ideas, it can help to write down a short list of qualities that you want to highlight.

The next step in how to start a college essay about yourself is to select the right prompt. Your prompt should connect to you and your experiences. If you don’t resonate with any of the Common App’s good college essay topics, remember that you can create your own. Just make sure that the topic relates to you personally.

When you actually start writing, think about using the prompt to tell a story . Try to share parts of yourself that have not been featured in other areas of your application. So, your essay should focus on a narrative rather than a list of facts or examples. For example, if you choose prompt #4, you should not simply write several paragraphs about what gratitude means to you. Instead, focus on a compelling story about a time when you learned about the importance of gratitude. Finally, make sure that you are the central figure in whatever story you tell.

The Why School Essay

Next on our list of good college essay topics is the why school essay. Each of these prompts is specific to a particular school. So, a “why Yale essay” will look very different from a “why Duke essay” even though the prompt is structured similarly for both schools.

Simply put, a why school essay asks you to explain the reasons why you want to attend that particular school and what you hope to achieve there.

Many schools feature a why school essay. So, let’s highlight two examples of what these college essay topics look like. 

Why school essay examples

The “why Yale essay” prompt allows students a maximum word count of 125. It asks, “What is it about Yale that has led you to apply?”. In a similar college application essay format, the “why Duke Essay” prompt asks, “What is your sense of Duke as a university and a community, and why do you consider it a good match for you? If there’s something in particular about our offerings that attracts you, feel free to share that as well.” This essay has a 250-word count limit.

Using a why school essay prompt serves a few purposes for an admissions office. It allows your application readers to see how much research you have done about their campus and facilities. Additionally, it helps them understand what you might bring to their campus as a prospective student. In the end, it’s all about seeing whether you would be a good fit for the school and whether the school would be a good fit for you. 

Structuring a Why School Essay

When writing a why school essay, it is still important to keep yourself as the central focus. Using specific examples, write about what makes the school a good fit for you. So, don’t just start with the most well-known or popular features of a school. A school may have just built a brand new science building, but it is likely not worth writing about unless you plan to major in a scientific discipline. So, before writing, think about the criteria on your personal college list. Then, identify two or three areas in which the school you’re writing about meets them. Remember that these are often short essays, so don’t try to fit in too many college essay ideas at once.

Then, get specific and do some research! If you have visited the school, consider identifying some of the features you enjoyed seeing on your visit. Additionally, if there is a specific professor, lab, program, club, team, or opportunity that interests you, mention those details here. The more specific research you show, the better your case for attending a school will be. However, it is not enough to simply list names and facts in your essay. Instead, describe how these opportunities will help you achieve your goals. Then, highlight why you want to be a part of this particular school’s community.

Nearly every top school in the country, including the Columbia supplemental essays and the why Northwestern essay, uses these college essay topics. Because each prompt is specific to each school, you should avoid using the same generic college essay ideas in each response. Good college essay topics show individuality as well as evidence of reflection and research. 

For more information about how to write a good why school essay, check out our resources here . 

The Why Major Essay

The why major essay relates to the why school essay because they both ask about your reasons for being interested in a college. The difference is that a why school essay focuses on the school as a whole, whereas a why major essay asks specifically about your field of study within the school. Many universities include these supplemental essay prompts if students are applying to a particularly popular program at the school. Other schools use these short essay topics to learn more about students’ academic interests and goals.

The UPenn supplemental essay, the Rice supplemental essay, and the Cornell supplemental essays all feature questions that ask about students’ majors. The UPenn supplemental essay prompt has a 150-200 word limit. Here is UPenn’s why major prompt:  “Considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected, describe how you intend to explore your academic and intellectual interests at the University of Pennsylvania.”

The Rice supplemental essay prompt is similar. It gives students a maximum of 150 words to respond to the following statement: “Please explain why you wish to study in the academic areas you selected.”

The Cornell supplemental essays across their eight undergraduate colleges ask similar questions. This prompt comes from Arts and Sciences, their most popular program: “Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st century terms Ezra Cornell’s ‘any person…any study’ founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College.” 

Choosing a major for your college essay

You might have many college essay ideas when it comes to writing a why major essay. Still, the best college admission essays in this category are focused and detailed. Therefore, before you start writing, it is important to reflect on your academic interests. Think about how you first became interested in your intended major. What past experiences have you had in this field? What do you hope to accomplish with the degree you wish to pursue? These guiding questions will help give your essay direction and clarity, even before a single word hits the page.

Your interest in your chosen major should stem from a passion for the subject. Some students make the mistake of focusing on their future earnings or talking about how parents or relatives expect them to pick a certain major. Remember that you are the one who will be attending the school and taking hundreds of hours of coursework in this subject. So, make sure you have a good reason for choosing it.

Undecided majors

If you are not sure what major you want to pursue, that’s okay. You can still give a thoughtful answer to this prompt. This is a great time to describe your intellectual curiosity or your passion for multiple disparate subjects. You can also discuss your favorite school subjects or the aspects of learning that you most enjoy, such as a particular science experiment or a time period in history that fascinates you. There are many different college essay ideas that you can pursue even with an undecided major.

Remember that with the exception of a few specialized programs, you will not be forced to stay with the major that you list on your college application. Many schools do not even require students to officially declare their major until their sophomore year. For guidance on selecting a major that is right for you, check out this link . And for more general college essay tips and college essay ideas, see this guide from Harvard University .

Personal Challenge Essay

Our next subject in this series of college essay topics is the personal challenge essay. The personal challenge essay asks students to recount a story in which they overcame some hardship or obstacle and learned a lesson about themselves in the process. These good college essay topics are excellent times to display character traits such as perseverance, dedication, grit, and leadership.

Fordham University’s supplemental essay prompt states: “At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to be an advocate for your community.” 

In a slightly different approach, the Emory University supplemental essays provide several options for students to discuss their personal growth. They include prompts like, “Reflect on a personal experience where you intentionally expanded your cultural awareness.” and, “When was the last time you questioned something you had thought to be true?”

Crafting a memorable college essay

A good personal challenge essay can take a variety of forms. Overall, there are many good college essay ideas students can draw from within this theme. This article from U.S. News illustrates some of the more common themes that students employ when approaching these college essay topics. The most important part of any personal challenge essay is authenticity. Nobody’s story is inherently better or worse than anyone else’s. You do not need to write about heavy tragedy in order to develop a good personal challenge essay.

Start by coming up with a list of college essay ideas. These should be stories from your life that present you in a different light, one not seen in other areas of your application. Then, pick a specific story from your list of college essay ideas that presents you in a positive manner and shows off the traits you want your readers to see. The best college admission essays tell one specific and compelling story rather than list several college essay ideas in one response. 

Another important facet of these college essay topics is the demonstration of growth. The important part of your essay is not the severity of the challenge itself, but how you reacted to it and grew from the experience. Make sure you avoid vague sentiments or platitudes like, “I became a better person,” or “This experience caused me to see the world in a new way.” Instead, focus on what you specifically gained from going through this challenging time. In addition, think about what skills or characteristics you showed in overcoming the challenge. Then, use the essay to highlight them.

Cultural Diversity Essay

The cultural diversity essay is a popular topic for a college admission essay. So, understanding how to write college essays of this type is vital. But, before we dive into just how to respond, let’s learn just what a cultural diversity essay is. 

Simply put, these types of college essay topics ask students to elaborate on their relationship with cultural diversity. Namely, they look for how it has shaped the student’s own identity. Like all good college essay topics, the cultural diversity essay invites students to share an important part of themselves with admissions.

What makes a great college essay on cultural diversity? Well, essays will vary greatly depending on each individual. Students could talk about their background, culture, beliefs, skills, experience, or perspectives. Culture can mean many things, meaning that college essay ideas for this prompt are nearly endless.

Exact college essay topics aren’t as important as showing how the matter at hand has shaped you. Additionally, tactfully executed college essay ideas will show how your unique story and experiences will improve that school’s college campus. Specifically, touching on how you’ll bring your perspective, experiences, and culture to campus is always a good strategy. 

To better understand this topic, let’s look at some examples of cultural diversity essay prompts.

Cultural Diversity Essay Prompts

Like many other schools, Amherst College requires applicants to respond to additional Amherst supplemental essays. The Amherst supplemental essays are certainly looking for a cultural diversity essay: 

Amherst Cultural Diversity Essay Prompts

Respond to  one  of the following quotations in an essay of not more than 300 words. it is not necessary to research, read, or refer to the texts from which these quotations are taken; we are looking for original, personal responses to these short excerpts. remember that your essay should be personal in nature and not simply an argumentative essay., “rigorous reasoning is crucial in mathematics, and insight plays an important secondary role these days. in the natural sciences, i would say that the order of these two virtues is reversed. rigor is, of course, very important. but the most important value is insight—insight into the workings of the world. it may be because there is another guarantor of correctness in the sciences, namely, the empirical evidence from observation and experiments.”  kannan jagannathan, professor of physics, amherst college, “translation is the art of bridging cultures. it’s about interpreting the essence of a text, transporting its rhythms and becoming intimate with its meaning… translation, however, doesn’t only occur across languages: mentally putting any idea into words is an act of translation; so is composing a symphony, doing business in the global market, understanding the roots of terrorism. no citizen, especially today, can exist in isolation—that is, untranslated.”  ilán stavans, professor of latin american and latino culture, amherst college, robert croll ’16 and cedric duquene ’15, adapted from the print version of “interpreting terras irradient,” amherst magazine, spring 2015.  , “creating an environment that allows students to build lasting friendships, including those that cut across seemingly entrenched societal and political boundaries…requires candor about the inevitable tensions, as well as about the wonderful opportunities, that diversity and inclusiveness create.” carolyn “biddy” martin, 19th president of amherst college, from letter to amherst college alumni and families, december 28, 2015. , “difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. rather, achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted.”  attributed to william hastie, amherst college class of 1925, the first african-american to serve as a judge for the united states court of appeals, understanding the amherst essay prompts.

Amherst’s option doesn’t explicitly ask for your experiences. Rather, they want to see how you respond and relate to different perspectives.

Let’s look at another example. In addition to the Common App personal statement, students applying to Harvard are allowed to submit an additional “optional” essay. When responding to any school’s essays, especially an Ivy League , do some digging to see if admissions offers any tips. Check out Harvard’s blog on how to write a great essay. Here is Harvard’s prompt that is very obviously a cultural diversity essay topic:

Harvard Cultural Diversity Essay Prompt

Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. we welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your harvard classmates..

Finally, let’s look at the University of Michigan’s prompt: 

University of Michigan Cultural Diversity Essay Prompt

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (required for all applicants; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words).

Specifically, this UMich essay prompt talks about community, which makes up a part of your background and culture. Since “community” encompasses many different aspects, students have lots of room to play with their responses. 

How do you write a college essay on diversity?

Before understanding how to write the college diversity essay, students should consider why they’re popular college essay topics for admissions . Simply put, universities want to have a diverse student body. This enhances campus life by creating constant cross-cultural understanding. Additionally, each student’s unique background, experiences, and perspective shape the school’s community greatly. That’s why these prompts are found everywhere, from Amherst to NYU supplemental essays.

So, how to tackle the cultural diversity essay? First, students need to speak from their own experiences. You should be at the forefront of your essay—not someone else. This essay is all about showing what diversity means to you and how it impacts your own identity. What background or experience do you have that is unique and meaningful to you?

College essay ideas will vary greatly among students. And that’s the point! There’s no cookie-cutter college application essay format to follow. What you talk about within your background and experiences can be any number of things. Ultimately, writing passionately and cohesively, clearly conveying how diversity has shaped you, and how you’ll bring that perspective to campus are key. You should authentically and comprehensively answer the prompt in order to write an essay that stands out . 

Check out our cultural diversity essay guide for more in-depth college essay tips!

Extracurricular Activities Essay

Another favorite among college essay topics is the extracurricular activities essay. Needless to say, this supplemental essay allows students to expand on one of their extracurricular activities . Since the Common App activities section is limited, this is a great chance to provide more context for your experiences.

In general, when writing an extracurricular activities essay, you shouldn’t simply list achievements from your college resume . Feel free to get creative by sharing an anecdote or expanding on what the activity means to you. Has it shaped your identity or your future goals? How have you grown from partaking in this activity? Expand on the deeper meaning to you in order to write the best extracurricular activities essay. 

Now, let’s check out some extracurricular activities essay prompts. 

Sample Extracurricular Activities Essay Prompts

Interestingly, Vanderbilt offers students two college essay topics for students to choose to respond to in 250 words. The first is a diversity essay. The following is their extracurricular activities prompt: 

Vanderbilt Extracurricular Activities Essay Prompt

Vanderbilt offers a community where students find balance between their academic and social experiences. please briefly elaborate on how one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences has influenced you..

Check out our guide with ample Vanderbilt essay examples before writing this school’s essays.

The Princeton supplemental essays also include a similar extracurricular activity prompt. However, for these types of Princeton supplemental essays, students only have 150 words with which to respond:

Princeton Extracurricular Activity Prompt

Briefly elaborate on an activity, organization work experience, or hobby that has been particularly meaningful to you. .

Finally, let’s see the Stanford extracurricular activities essay prompt. You’ll notice it follows the same general trend as the others.

Stanford Extracurricular Activity Essay Prompt

The stanford community is deeply curious and driven to learn in and out of the classroom. reflect on an idea or experience that makes you genuinely excited about learning..

Before working on your own college essay ideas, check out some Stanford essay examples to see what’s worked in the past. 

Unique College Essay Topics

During the college application process, you’re likely to come across many similar college essay topics and prompts. However, some universities keep things interesting with good college essay topics that are sure to keep applicants on their toes. These college essay topics ask students unexpected questions and even err on the side of quirky. They’re quite different from the personal statement . 

Basically, these non-traditional college essay topics are a wonderful opportunity to let your creative side shine with one-of-a-kind responses. But, keep in mind that although these aren’t traditional college essay topics, every college admission essay has the same goal. You should share more about yourself with admissions, and show them just why you’d be a great addition to their university. 

Let’s read some prompts that fall into this category.

Unique College Essay Prompts

UChicago is one school known for their unique college essay topics. Certainly, they have one supplemental essay prompt that’s required and similar to more traditional college essay topics. At the same time, their options for the second of the short essays don’t disappoint. 

Here are the UChicago prompts for the second of their college essay topics: 

UChicago Unique College Essay Prompts

Essay option 1, exponents and square roots, pencils and erasers, beta decay and electron capture. name two things that undo each other and explain why both are necessary. – inspired by emmett cho, class of 2027, essay option 2, “where have all the flowers gone” – pete seeger. pick a question from a song title or lyric and give it your best answer. – inspired by ryan murphy, ab’21, essay option 3, “vlog,” “labradoodle,” and “fauxmage.” language is filled with portmanteaus. create a new portmanteau and explain why those two things are a “patch” (perfect match). – inspired by garrett chalfin, class of 2027, essay option 4, a jellyfish is not a fish. cat burglars don’t burgle cats. rhode island is not an island. write an essay about some other misnomer, and either come up with and defend a new name for it or explain why its inaccurate name should be kept. – inspired by sonia chang, class of 2025, and mirabella blair, class of 2027, essay option 5, despite their origins in the gupta empire of india or ancient egypt, games like chess or bowling remain widely enjoyed today. what modern game do you believe will withstand the test of time, and why – inspired by adam heiba, class of 2027, essay option 6, there are unwritten rules that everyone follows or has heard at least once in their life. but of course, some rules should be broken or updated. what is an unwritten rule that you wish didn’t exist (our custom is to have five new prompts each year, but this year we decided to break with tradition. enjoy) – inspired by maryam abdella, class of 2026, essay option 7, and, as always… the classic choose your own adventure option in the spirit of adventurous inquiry, choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). be original, creative, thought provoking. draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the university of chicago; take a little risk, and have fun, dartmouth college essay prompts.

Another elite university with some good college essay topics is Dartmouth . While the two required essays are standard college essay topics, the third essay has a variety of unique prompts to choose from. Let’s take a look at their prompts, which have a 200-250 word limit.

Dartmouth Unique College Essay Prompts

A. labor leader and civil rights activist dolores huerta recommended a life of purpose. “we must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things,” she said. “that is what we are put on the earth for.” in what ways do you hope to make—or are you making—an impact, b. what excites you, c. in the boy who harnessed the wind, william kamkwamba ’14 reflects on constructing a windmill from recycled materials to power electrical appliances in his family’s malawian house: “if you want to make it, all you have to do is try.” what drives you to create and what do you hope to make or have you made, d. dr. seuss, aka theodor geisel of dartmouth’s class of 1925, wrote, “think and wonder. wonder and think.” what do you wonder and think about, e. “not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” wrote james baldwin. how does this quote apply to your life experiences, how do you write a unique college essay.

At this point, you may have many college essay ideas for these topics. However, keep in mind that these types of supplemental essays should still be answered personally and authentically—just like your personal statement. Especially with creative and unique prompts, it may be tempting to go in a totally different direction when writing. Nevertheless, don’t forget that good college essay topics aim to learn more about the applicant, even if they are unconventional. 

Additionally, the goal of these unique college essay topics is to see that you don’t back down from a challenge. Universities want curious learners who are willing to step out of their comfort zone. So, even if these aren’t your favorite types of college essay topics, persevere in writing something new. They’re an opportunity to indirectly show admissions how you think. Ideally, you’ll want to show your intellectual curiosity and values. However, this can be done indirectly.

More tips on unique college essay topics

Check out these UChicago essay examples in order to see how students successfully responded to these unique college essay topics. If you’re wondering how to start a college essay, reading successful college essay ideas is a good way to begin. Use them as inspiration to spur your own college essay ideas. 

From NYU supplemental essays to personal challenge essays or even a “why major” essay, remember the goal. Tell admissions more about you and what you’ll bring to campus. Additionally, your successful essays will make it clear that you’re a good fit for the school—even if not explicitly stated.

Short Essay Topics

While supplemental essays usually don’t have high word counts, there are certain college essay topics that are considered short essays. Short essays, when it comes to college essay topics, are those that are less than 100 words. They are much shorter than personal statement examples . Those of you who aren’t fans of writing might rejoice at the news. However, it can often be more difficult to write a meaningful short essay. 

Let’s take a look at some short essay topics from different universities. To start, here are the Columbia supplemental essays. These Columbia supplemental essays are considered short essay prompts. 

Columbia Short Essay Prompts

1. list the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer), 2. in columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. in the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words or fewer).

The sheer number (10!) of short essays that USC requires may intimidate many. However, these USC supplemental essays are super short with a 25–100 word limit. Check out our guide with examples of USC supplemental essays. Here are the USC short answer essay prompts:

USC Short Essay Topics

Describe yourself in three words., what is your favorite snack, best movie of all time: , if your life had a theme song, what would it be, dream trip: , what tv show will you binge watch next, which well-known person or fictional character would be your ideal roommate, favorite book:, if you could teach a class on any topic, what would it be.

Stanford has a 100–250 word limit on their short essays. Let’s take a look at the prompts: 

Stanford Short Essay Topics

Virtually all of stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—get to know you better., tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why..

You may have noticed that many of these short college essay topics were “lists” while others were simply short essays. Now, let’s think about how to respond to them. 

Approaching short essays

While it may seem like these college essay topics are very different from others, the approach is the same. Your responses should highlight what makes you the person you are. The only trick is to do it in a much shorter word count than other college essay topics. 

So, make the most of every word! This part may seem tedious, but you must choose your words carefully to craft the most impactful short essay response. With lots of polish, these types of short essay topics can add dimension to the rest of your application. What you decide to write about should tell the admissions team more about you, your interests, and your values. 

Choosing the best college essay topics

Of course, each college will have different essay prompts. For example, the NYU supplemental essays are very different from the  UChicago essays or the Columbia supplemental essays. Even so, good college essay topics are the ones that you can write the most passionately about. However, your college essay ideas must ultimately share more about you and why you belong on that university’s campus. 

When it comes to choosing good college essay topics, carefully read all the prompts. Is there one that jumps out to you? If so, that’s the best choice for you! If you’re considering various prompts, do a short brainstorming exercise for each prompt. Whichever prompt evokes the most meaningful experience that is an authentic representation of you should be your topic. 

Here is more advice from a student at Harvard on writing your best college essays as well:

What makes a great college essay? Most importantly, across college essay topics, your essays need to be personal, specific, and honest. Excepting short essay topics that ask for a list, normally your essays shouldn’t simply list accomplishments or experiences. Follow the classic writing adage when planning and writing out your best college essay ideas: show don’t tell. Consider anecdotes that highlight who you are. Use those stories as a foundation to craft your essays.

What should you not write in a college essay?

When it comes to good college essay topics, the sky is certainly the limit. And, since essays are so personal, good college essay topics will usually be quite varied. However, there are certain college essay ideas that you should stay away from.

Here are 5 college essay topics to stay away from: 

1. generic topics.

For example, admissions experts note that writing about sports injuries usually doesn’t go over well. Additionally, some sort of “big game” essay usually doesn’t land in quite the way students might imagine either. There is usually too much time spent on the game rather than on a student’s personal growth. But most often, sports-related obstacles tend to center around clichés (never giving up, the happiness of winning, the sadness of losing, team camaraderie, etc.). Predictable essays won’t make the biggest impact on admissions.  

2. Dramatic life events

For some students, this will work. However, don’t try to create some grandiose event in order to write a jaw-dropping essay. In fact, some of the best college essay ideas come from everyday experiences that shape the writer. That is to say, essays should highlight not simply what happened to you, but your responses to those experiences. With that said, if you can convey personal growth and positive change through a difficult life event, go for it.

3. Highly personal topics

This relates to the previous point. Indeed, most good college essay topics are pretty personal. However, there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed. For example, overly personal stories about mental health should generally be avoided, especially unprocessed trauma. While admissions can’t discriminate against you based on these topics, it’s usually a hard topic from which to craft a successful essay. Of course, we’re sure it’s been done. But, your best bet is to choose one of the many other good college essay topics that you’re sure to have.

4. Anything related to alcohol, drugs, or illegal behavior

This may seem blatantly obvious but certainly don’t talk about wild parties with illegal activities (and certainly don’t partake!). You should refrain from talking about your personal experiences with these themes in your college essays. However, if you are close with someone affected by these, that could be a plausible essay topic—but write carefully. Again, it’s probably safest just to take these topics out of the running.

5. High school gossip

This topic is going to make it hard for you to shine. Avoid any type of topics that relate to high school gossip. College admissions officers won’t be impressed, and it will be hard to come off as anything other than immature and superficial. Remember that your college essay will show what you are going to bring to campus. Certainly, admissions officers don’t want to bring this type of culture to their campuses. 

How to write your best college admission essays

Writing college essays is a huge part of the college application process. Of course, most admissions teams use a holistic review process, considering everything from GPA to extracurriculars to essays. Even so, essays are truly of utmost importance, as they are your personal account of your personality and life story. However, rather than stress about college essay ideas, look at it as an opportunity to share more about yourself. 

Here are 5 college essay tips for writing your best college admission essays: 

1. carefully choose your prompt.

You’ll be hard-pressed to write passionately about a topic that doesn’t genuinely excite you. So, carefully consider the prompts you’re given before drafting your essay. Choose the one that most calls to you. 

2. Tell your story

Good college essay topics will tell a story that would tell a total stranger more about you, your values, passions, and experiences. Get creative when it comes to telling a story in your essays. Hook the reader from the start and impress with your writing abilities. 

3. Answer the prompt

Anecdotes are great for writing personal, unique, and meaningful college essays. However, they absolutely need to be pertinent to the prompt at hand. Make sure that you comprehensively respond to the prompt. 

4. Start early

A lot of the stress that comes with college essays has to do with rapidly approaching deadlines. Be sure to give yourself ample time to complete your essays. You’ll need time to brainstorm, draft, revise, and edit. That’s in addition to completing the rest of the application! Ideally, start the summer before your senior year. 

5. Pay attention to grammar and mechanics

Being creative and telling a meaningful story is important when it comes to college essays. However, don’t forget that your grammar should be impeccable. Be sure to thoroughly revise and edit your essays. And, have someone else take a look at them too! An extra pair of eyes can help greatly when it comes to fine-tuning and perfecting your essay in its last stages. 

College Essay Topics Takeaways

In this guide, we’ve looked at many different college essay topics such as the personal statement, unique essays, short essays, and more. We also discussed how to structure the best college application essay format for different prompts. 

In order to craft the best college essay ideas and the best college admission essays, you should read many college essay examples. Studying college essay examples can help you when considering how to start a college essay. Remember you shouldn’t try to copy the stories from these college essay examples. Rather, use them as inspiration to tell your own story.

Are you sharing the impact of your gap year , explaining how you chose your major , or writing a why this college essay ? Whatever you’re talking about, reading successful essays will help you learn how to write better essays. And if you can write better than other applicants, then you’re sure to impress admissions.

At the end of the day, remember that there is no definitive college application essay format. Of course, there are certain things that most successful essays do. However, don’t get stuck on nailing one specific college application essay format. Rather, focus on self-reflection and personal growth when choosing your topics and which anecdotes to include. And, if you need some help along the way, CollegeAdvisor Admissions Experts are here to guide you in writing your best college essays!

This article was written by Sarah Kaminski and advisor, Alex Baggott-Rowe . Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.

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Home Essay Samples

Essay Samples on Life

As you are browsing through essays about life, think about choosing something that reflects your social position or customs that are able to tell your target audience about your local community. It will make writing much easier as you can explore something that you know well and compare what you think to specific publications that you discover online. It is what makes this aspect of college writing a bit challenging because you should set a problem or an issue related to life processes before you continue with exploration. Once you find a competing subject, proceed with an outline and structure your ideas first. If you are unsure about how to get things done, consider browsing through our life essay examples. The topics that we have presented range from the criticisms of Kantian Ethics in the business industry to the conflicting ideas presented by the classic vegetarian diet. Take a closer look at two different life essay samples and compare various paragraphs to determine what tone fits you best. If there are complex concepts that you research, offer brief information in your introduction paragraph. It will help your readers to follow the logic and understand your writing in a clearer way.

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What are your educational and career goals? This question invites a glimpse into the tapestry of aspirations that I have woven, reflecting my vision for personal growth, professional achievement, and meaningful contributions to society. My educational journey serves as the launching pad for my career...

Unveiling My Career Goals in the Healthcare Field

What are your career goals related to the healthcare field? This question unveils my aspirations to contribute to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities by venturing into the dynamic and impactful realm of healthcare. A career in healthcare is not only a path to...

  • Health Care

Unveiling My Academic and Career Goals

What are your academic and career goals? This question serves as a compass guiding individuals to envision their educational pursuits and professional aspirations. Academic and career goals are not merely destinations; they represent the pathways individuals chart to realize their dreams, make meaningful contributions, and...

Things I Like About Myself

Self-discovery is a journey that unfolds over time, allowing us to unearth our strengths, quirks, and unique qualities. As I navigate the labyrinth of life, there are numerous aspects that I cherish and celebrate about myself. This essay serves as a heartfelt exploration of the...

The First Thanksgiving: A Historical Reflection on Unity and Gratitude

The story of the first Thanksgiving is a cornerstone of American history, marking a pivotal moment when two distinct cultures came together in a spirit of unity and gratitude. This seminal event, which took place in the early 17th century, remains a powerful symbol of...

Thanksgiving Reflection: Gratitude, Growth, and the Power of Connection

As another Thanksgiving comes around, I find myself immersed in a reflective state of mind, contemplating the significance of this cherished holiday. It's a time when the world seems to slow down, and the aroma of a festive feast fills the air. Yet, beneath the...

A Heartwarming Thanksgiving Narrative: Embracing Family and Traditions

Thanksgiving has always held a special place in my heart as a holiday that brings my family together in a tapestry of warmth, laughter, and cherished memories. Each year, as the days grow shorter and the air turns crisper, the anticipation of Thanksgiving begins to...

Thanksgiving: The Best Holiday for Gratitude, Unity, and Joy

Among the myriad holidays that punctuate the calendar, Thanksgiving stands out as a special and cherished occasion that brings people together in an unparalleled celebration of gratitude, unity, and joy. Rooted in traditions that emphasize family, feasting, and reflection, Thanksgiving holds a unique place in...

A Journey to Talk About Myself

Introduction Self-discovery is a lifelong voyage, a journey to unravel the layers of identity that define us. In this essay, I embark on the task of talking about myself. From sharing anecdotes that tell my story to delving into my passions, values, and aspirations, I...

Talking About Myself: Unveiling My Story

Introduction Exploring one's own identity is a journey that unfolds through introspection, experiences, and self-expression. In this essay, I embark on the task of talking about myself, delving into various aspects that define who I am. From my background and interests to my values and...

Navigating the Student Debt Crisis

The student debt crisis in modern society is a pressing issue that has far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and the broader economy. This essay delves into the complexities of the student debt crisis, examining its origins, the socio-economic implications it poses, the role of higher...

  • Student Loan Debt

Navigating HR Career Goals with Purpose

HR career goals encompass the ambitions of individuals who are drawn to the dynamic realm of Human Resources, driven by a passion for cultivating a harmonious workplace, nurturing talent, and fostering organizational success. In a rapidly evolving business landscape, a career in HR holds the...

  • Human Resources

Should Students Be Required to Perform Community Service to Graduate High School?

For decades, the education system has primarily been viewed through the lens of academic achievement, but the tide is turning towards a more holistic understanding of what truly prepares students for the world. Integral to this discussion is the role of community service in molding...

  • Community Service
  • High School

Unveiling the Layers Within: A Glimpse of Myself

Introduction Every individual is a tapestry of experiences, emotions, and thoughts woven together to create a unique story. In this essay, I take the opportunity to share something about myself, offering a window into the essence of who I am. By delving into aspects of...

The Essential Role of Human Values in the 21st Century

The 21st century presents a myriad of challenges and opportunities that call for a renewed emphasis on human values as guiding principles to shape individual behaviors, societal norms, and global interactions. In an era marked by technological advancements, cultural diversification, and interconnectedness, the role of...

  • 21St Century

The Dynamics of Power in George Orwell's "1984"

George Orwell's novel "1984" presents a harrowing exploration of power and its various manifestations within a dystopian society. The novel delves into the complex dynamics of power, including the ways it is exercised, maintained, and resisted. Through the lens of the Party's authoritarian regime, this...

Reflecting on My Negative Qualities

** Introduction ** We are all complex beings, composed of both admirable qualities and less desirable traits. In this essay, I take a candid look at the negative qualities within me, acknowledging that self-awareness is the first step towards growth and self-improvement. While discussing these...

Nature vs Nurture in Shaping My Identity

Introduction The age-old debate of nature versus nurture delves into the intricate interplay between genetics and environment, unraveling the factors that contribute to our individuality. In this essay, I embark on a personal exploration of this theme, delving into how both nature and nurture have...

Discovering Identity: A Narrative of Self

We are all protagonists in the stories of our lives, navigating the twists and turns that define our existence. In this narrative essay, I invite you to join me on a journey through the chapters of my own life – a journey of self-discovery, growth,...

What Are Your Goals: A Glimpse into My Aspirations

The journey of life is marked by dreams, ambitions, and the pursuit of personal growth. In this essay, I offer a candid glimpse into my aspirations, answering the question, “What are your goals?” By delving into my educational, professional, and personal dimensions, I share the...

Explaining Why Dreams and Goals Are Valuable

Human existence is marked by an innate yearning for progress, fulfillment, and purpose. At the core of this drive lies the pursuit of dreams and goals, powerful constructs that transcend cultures, backgrounds, and ages. In this essay, we delve into the profound value of dreams...

For or Against Setting Long-Term Goals to Land a Dream Job

The pursuit of a dream job is a journey that ignites aspirations, ambitions, and the desire for professional fulfillment. At the heart of this endeavor lies a critical decision: should one set long-term goals to navigate the path towards their dream job? This debate has...

  • Dream Career

My Community Service Experience

My journey into the realm of community service was less about an obligatory chore and more about a serendipitous discovery of my potential, my passion, and my connection to the broader world around me. The experiences I garnered, the people I met, and the lessons...

SMART Goals: A Blueprint for Achieving Success

In the pursuit of success, setting goals is a cornerstone of personal and professional development. However, not all goals are created equal. Enter SMART goals: a structured and strategic approach to goal-setting that enhances the likelihood of achievement. In this essay, we delve into the...

Mandatory Community Service: Balancing Societal Needs

The concept of mandatory community service, often seen in academic curricula and judiciary systems, has spurred diverse reactions and debates. Rooted in the idea of fostering societal growth and instilling civic responsibility, mandatory community service juxtaposes societal needs with individual autonomy. This synthesis essay integrates...

Embarking on the Odyssey of Literacy: A Narrative of Words and Worlds

Our lives are narratives, composed of stories that intertwine, evolve, and shape our understanding of the world. Amidst this intricate tapestry of experiences, one thread stands out prominently in the tapestry of my existence – the thread of literacy. This literacy narrative essay is a...

Unveiling the Tapestry of Self: An Introspective Journey

Every life is a story, a narrative woven with the threads of experiences, emotions, and aspirations. As I embark on the path of introspection, I invite you to join me in exploring the intricate layers that comprise the canvas of my existence. This introductory essay...

The Importance of Community Service

The importance of community service is a beacon that guides individuals towards meaningful engagement, personal growth, and societal transformation. Community service transcends altruism; it's a vital component of building stronger, more compassionate communities. This essay explores the multifaceted reasons behind the importance of community service,...

Human Values in 21st Century: A Blueprint for a Better World

The 21st century presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities that demand a reevaluation of the values that guide human behavior. In this era of rapid technological advancements, cultural diversification, and interconnectedness, the importance of human values in the 21st century cannot be overstated....

Exploring Career Goals for Students

Career goals serve as the compass that guides students through the labyrinth of academic pursuits, professional ambitions, and personal growth. As the future beckons with opportunities, setting clear and achievable career goals empowers students to chart their course, make informed decisions, and work towards the...

  • College Students

Pursuing Public Health: Navigating a Path to Achieve Career Goals

Public health career goals reflect the aspirations of individuals committed to safeguarding and improving the well-being of communities on a large scale. In a world where health challenges are diverse and ever-evolving, a career in public health offers a unique opportunity to make a lasting...

  • Public Health

Personal Health Goals: A Journey Towards Optimal Well-Being

The quest for well-being is an enduring journey that we embark upon with the intention of leading healthier and more fulfilling lives. In this essay, we delve into the realm of personal health goals, exploring how these aspirations empower individuals to take charge of their...

How I Spent My Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving this year was a heartwarming and memorable experience filled with cherished moments, delicious food, and quality time spent with loved ones. As the holiday approached, I eagerly anticipated the opportunity to reflect on my blessings, create lasting memories, and share gratitude with those...

How Will Our Understanding of Who We Are Shape the Goals We Develop for Ourselves

The journey of self-discovery is a profound exploration that transcends the boundaries of time and circumstance. In this essay, we delve into the intricate interplay between our understanding of who we are and the goals we develop for ourselves. By examining the ways in which...

Nurturing Social Work Career Goals

Social work career goals embody the aspirations of individuals driven by a deep commitment to uplifting vulnerable populations, advocating for social justice, and fostering positive change within communities. In a world marked by disparities and challenges, a career in social work holds the promise of...

  • Social Work

A Message to Myself: Reflections, Encouragement, and Self-Compassion

Within the depths of our thoughts lies a space where we can have a heartfelt conversation with the most familiar person of all—ourselves. This message to myself encapsulates a journey of introspection, offering reflections, encouragement, and a reminder of the importance of self-compassion. In this...

Me, Myself, and I: The Triad of Identity in 500 Words

In the intricate mosaic of human existence, the triad of "Me, Myself, and I" forms the cornerstone of identity—a fusion of experiences, thoughts, emotions, and aspirations that intertwine to create a unique narrative. In this essay, we delve into the complex interplay of these three...

How Can You Help Your Community: A Pathway to Positive Change

The question of how you can help your community is not merely a theoretical inquiry; it's an invitation to action and a testament to the power of individual agency in creating positive change. In a world marked by diverse challenges, every individual possesses the ability...

  • Helping Others

Navigating the Housing Crisis: Challenges and Implications

The housing crisis is a pressing issue that reverberates across the globe, impacting individuals, families, and communities. This essay delves into the complexities surrounding the housing crisis, investigating its root causes, the far-reaching consequences, and the potential strategies to alleviate the challenges and ensure access...

How I Learned to Love Myself

The odyssey of self-love is a deeply personal and transformative one—a journey that I embarked upon with uncertainty and emerged from with a profound sense of how I learned to love myself. In this essay, I delve into the layers of this voyage, exploring the...

Helping My Community: A Journey of Impact and Empowerment

Helping my community is not just a mere notion; it's a personal commitment that fuels my desire to contribute to positive change. In a world that presents numerous challenges, taking an active role in improving the lives of those around me is both a responsibility...

Goals of Social Work: Empowering Communities and Fostering Change

Social work is a profession deeply rooted in the principles of compassion, empathy, and advocacy for vulnerable populations. In this essay, we explore the profound goals of social work, examining how social workers dedicate their efforts to empower individuals, families, and communities, and create lasting...

Goals and Aspirations: Pioneering the Path to Personal Fulfillment

Human existence is fueled by the pursuit of dreams and ambitions, encapsulated within the realm of goals and aspirations. In this essay, we delve into the profound significance of setting goals and nurturing aspirations, uncovering the essence of how they shape our lives, drive our...

My Personal Financial Goals in Life: Financial Freedom

As I embark on the journey of life, I recognize the profound impact that my personal financial goals will have on shaping my future. In this essay, I delve into the aspirations and plans that define my financial path, highlighting the importance of setting clear...

  • Personal Finance

Expectations for Myself as a Student

The journey through academia is a pursuit of growth, knowledge, and self-discovery. As I step into this realm, I am guided by expectations for myself as a student—goals that encompass not only academic achievements but also personal development and a commitment to lifelong learning. In...

About Yourself (Personal Examples)

Example 1: Exploring Identity Through Life's Lessons As I journey through the labyrinth of life, I am reminded of the countless experiences that have shaped the person I am today. From the innocent days of childhood to the trials and triumphs of adulthood, my story...

  • Personality

Introducing Myself: Uniqueness Within and Self-Presentation

Stepping onto the stage of self-presentation, I embark on the journey of introducing myself—an endeavor that requires delicacy, authenticity, and an appreciation for the intricacies that define my identity. In this essay, I navigate the nuances of self-introduction, exploring the essence of who I am,...

Knowing Myself: Unraveling the Self

The pursuit of knowing myself is an intricate voyage—a path that winds through the labyrinth of thoughts, emotions, and experiences that comprise the essence of who I am. In this introspective essay, I delve into the significance of self-awareness, the layers of identity, and the...

A Journey Unveiled: My Autobiography

Introduction Life is a voyage marked by milestones, challenges, and self-discovery. As I set my pen to paper, I embark on an introspective journey to chronicle the chapters that have shaped my existence. This autobiography is not a mere recollection of events, but a canvas...

Understanding Myself: the Complexities of Self-Discovery

Embarking on the quest of understanding myself is an odyssey of introspection—a journey that delves into the intricacies of thoughts, emotions, and experiences that shape the unique tapestry of my identity. In this reflective essay, I delve into the significance of self-awareness, the layers of...

The Place I Can Be Myself: a Haven of Authenticity

Amid the bustling rhythms of life, there exists a sanctuary—a refuge where pretenses fade, and authenticity flourishes. In this introspective essay, I delve into the place I can be myself, reflecting on the significance of finding solace in an environment that embraces my true identity,...

Myself as a Writer: Crafting Words, Weaving Worlds

Embracing the identity of a writer is a journey of words and wonder—an odyssey that unfolds through the art of crafting narratives and evoking emotions. In this introspective essay, I delve into the essence of myself as a writer, reflecting on the power of storytelling,...

  • Being a Writer

Myself as a Counselor: My Journey as a Compassionate Guide

Stepping into the role of a counselor is an embodiment of empathy, guidance, and a commitment to fostering mental well-being. In this introspective essay, I delve into the realm of myself as a counselor, reflecting on the qualities that define my approach, the significance of...

Discovering Myself: Inner Exploration

The journey of discovering myself is a profound odyssey—a quest that delves into the intricacies of identity, purpose, and the essence of being. In this introspective essay, I embark on an expedition through the inner landscape, unraveling the layers of my character, aspirations, and the...

Unveiling the Dimensions of My Personality

The human personality is a complex tapestry woven from various dimensions, each contributing to the unique individual that we are. Over the course of my life, I have embarked on a journey of self-discovery, delving into these dimensions to better understand and appreciate the intricacies...

My Journey as a University Student

Introduction Embarking on the journey of university life has been a transformative experience that has shaped my identity in profound ways. This essay delves into the various facets of my journey, from academic pursuits to personal growth, as I navigate the intricate landscape of becoming...

Presenting Myself for College: Unveiling My Journey

Stepping onto the threshold of higher education, I embark on a new chapter of my life with a sense of excitement and curiosity. This essay encapsulates about myself for college, providing insights into my background, aspirations, and the unique qualities that make me a suitable...

Exploring Myself as a Reader: Embarking on Literary Journeys

As the pages of countless books unfold before me, I find myself immersed in a world of imagination, knowledge, and introspection. This essay delves into the depths of my relationship with books, unraveling the intricate tapestry of experiences that define about myself as a reader....

Understanding Myself and My Personality

When it comes to exploring the depths of one's being, the journey becomes both fascinating and complex. This essay delves into the intricacies of about myself and my personality, offering a glimpse into the tapestry of experiences, beliefs, and traits that make me who I...

How Will Taking This Course Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

How will taking this course help you achieve your career goals? This question encapsulates the pivotal role of education in shaping the trajectory of professional aspirations. In a rapidly evolving world, where knowledge is power and adaptability is key, enrolling in a specific course holds...

How I Value Myself: Nurturing Self-Worth

At the core of a fulfilling and empowered life lies the practice of self-worth—a journey of recognizing, appreciating, and embracing one's intrinsic value. In this reflective essay, I embark on an exploration of how I value myself. From acknowledging my strengths to embracing my vulnerabilities,...

Why Do You Want to Achieve Your Goals

Setting and pursuing goals is an inherent aspect of human nature, driven by our desires, aspirations, and ambitions. In this essay, we delve into the profound question of why do you want to achieve your goals, exploring the underlying motivations that fuel our determination to...

Insights about Achieving Goals in Life

Setting and striving to achieve goals in life is a fundamental aspect of personal growth and fulfillment. It allows individuals to envision their desired future, create a roadmap to success, and work diligently to turn aspirations into reality. The journey of achieving goals in life...

How Will College Help Me Achieve My Goals

Entering college is not just a stepping stone to higher education; it's a transformative experience that can significantly shape and propel one's future. In this essay, I will delve into how college will help me achieve my goals by providing a platform for academic growth,...

How a Graduate Degree Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

Graduate degrees serve as powerful catalysts for propelling career ambitions to new heights. In a world where expertise, specialization, and innovation are highly valued, pursuing advanced education opens doors to enhanced opportunities and the realization of long-term career goals. This essay explores the symbiotic relationship...

History of Myself: Chronicles of Identity and Transformation

The history of myself is a narrative that unfolds across time, encompassing a tapestry of experiences, emotions, growth, and transformation. In this reflective essay, I embark on a journey to trace the history of myself—from the origins that shaped my identity to the chapters of...

Being Myself: Embracing Authenticity and Finding Inner Harmony

In a world often shaped by expectations and comparisons, the journey of being myself emerges as an exploration of authenticity, self-acceptance, and the pursuit of inner harmony. In this reflective essay, I delve into the intricacies of embracing my true self—the challenges, revelations, and rewards...

Diagnostic: Exploring My Identity

As I sit down to write this diagnostic essay about myself, I find myself reflecting on the journey that has brought me to where I am today. I believe that self-discovery is a lifelong process, and this essay is a snapshot of my current understanding...

Describing Myself: Narrative of Self-Discovery

Every individual is an intricate tapestry of stories, experiences, and emotions. In this narrative essay, I embark on a reflective journey to unveil the layers that compose the canvas of my identity. Through the art of storytelling, I delve into the myriad experiences that contribute...

How Do I Define Myself: Unraveling the Layers of My Identity

The essence of being human lies in the intricate tapestry of individuality that weaves together experiences, beliefs, aspirations, and values. In this introspective essay, I embark on a journey to explore the profound question of how do I define myself. From the colors that paint...

  • Self Identity

The Canvas of Self: A Kaleidoscope of Experiences

The journey of self-discovery is an intricate dance that weaves together the threads of experiences, passions, and aspirations. As I stand at the threshold of introspection, I am reminded of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "To be yourself in a world that is constantly...

  • Personal Experience

Educational and Career Goals: Navigating the Path

Educational and career goals shape a roadmap to personal and professional fulfillment. In a world driven by continuous learning and dynamic career landscapes, setting clear objectives is essential for achieving success and making meaningful contributions to society. This essay delves into the significance of defining...

Cosmetology Career Goals: Pursuing Beauty and Creativity

Cosmetology career goals weave a tapestry of aspirations centered around the art of beauty, self-expression, and transformation. In a world where appearance plays a significant role, cosmetologists take on the role of artists, enhancing natural beauty and boosting confidence. This essay delves into the importance...

  • Cosmetology

Computer Science Career Goals

Computer science career goals form the foundation of individuals' aspirations to explore, innovate, and create in the realm of technology. In a world characterized by rapid technological advancements, computer scientists play a pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape and driving transformative change. This essay...

  • Computer Science

Community Work: Empowering Change through Collective Efforts

Community work is a cornerstone of building resilient, inclusive, and thriving societies. This essay explores the significance of community work, its role in fostering positive change, the benefits it brings to individuals and communities, and the ways in which it contributes to social progress and...

Community Service: The Synthesis of Societal Progress and Personal Growth

The tapestry of society is woven with myriad threads, each representing diverse pursuits, challenges, and endeavors. Among these threads, community service stands out as a beacon of altruism and societal progress. Through various academic studies, personal narratives, and historical references, it becomes evident that community...

  • Personal Growth and Development

The Role of the Community Service Scholarship

The journey to self-discovery often meanders through the paths of service to others. As I pen down this essay for the community service scholarship, I reflect upon how my involvement in community service has been a crucible for personal growth, leadership, and a deeper understanding...

  • Scholarship

Report on the Significance and Impact of Community Service

Across the globe, community service plays an invaluable role in fostering community ties, instilling values of responsibility, and enhancing personal growth. This report delves deep into understanding the essence, multifaceted benefits, and the broader implications of community service. Through systematic analysis and real-world examples, we...

Proposal for a Comprehensive Community Service Project

In today's interconnected world, the emphasis on collective growth and community well-being has never been more pronounced. A well-conceived community service project can create lasting positive impacts, not just for immediate beneficiaries but also for volunteers and the community at large. This essay proposes a...

Community Service is the Best Form of Punishment

In recent years, the criminal justice system has come under scrutiny, leading to calls for more rehabilitative rather than punitive methods of dealing with offenders. One such approach that has gained traction is the use of community service as a form of punishment. Advocates argue...

Community Service in High School Should Not Be Mandatory

The concept of community service in high schools has consistently been a subject of contention. While proponents extol the myriad virtues of community involvement, a growing consensus believes that community service in high school should not be mandatory. This essay provides a comprehensive examination of...

Why Community Service is Important: The Ripple Effect

Why community service is important is a question that delves into the heart of social responsibility, empathy, and the profound impact individuals can have on the world around them. Community service is more than just a requirement; it's a powerful catalyst for positive change that...

Unpacking the Value of Community Service Hours

The concept of community service hours, often a requirement in academic and organizational settings, has sparked diverse opinions. While some see it as a mere checkbox to tick off, others view it as an avenue for genuine personal growth and societal contribution. Delving deeper into...

Community Service for High School: Building Foundations for the Future

When we think of high school, our minds often gravitate towards academic pressures, extracurricular activities, and the perennial quest for personal identity. Yet, amidst these, an increasingly significant component of the high school experience is community service. Introducing community service for high school students offers...

The Integral Role of Community Service in Society

Community service, often perceived as a simple act of volunteerism, holds a profound impact on individuals and communities as a whole. It not only fosters social cohesion but also strengthens communal ties and promotes personal growth. This essay delves into the pivotal nature of community...

Community Responsibility: Culture of Care and Accountability

Community responsibility is a cornerstone of building strong, resilient, and harmonious societies. This essay delves into the significance of community responsibility, its role in fostering positive change, the benefits it brings to individuals and communities, and the ways in which individuals can actively contribute to...

  • Accountability
  • Responsibility

Computer Engineering Career Goals: Navigating the Digital Frontier

Computer engineering career goals shape the trajectory of individuals seeking to harness the power of technology to drive innovation, solve complex problems, and shape the digital landscape. In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, computer engineers play a pivotal role in designing, developing, and...

  • Engineering

Best topics on Life

1. Entrepreneurship as a Career: Navigating the Path of Innovation

2. Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs: Innovation and Success

3. My Academic Goals: Nurturing Dreams, Pursuing Excellenc

4. What Are Your Academic Goals: Charting a Course for Excellence

5. Professional Goals for Graduate School

6. My Goals in Life as a College Student

7. Educational Goals: Charting the Path to Personal and Academic Excellence

8. My Future Goals as a Doctor

9. The Enigma of Crushes: Navigating Emotions and Relationships

10. Exploring Who I Am: Unveiling the Layers

11. Reflecting on What I Did Over Thanksgiving Break

12. What Do You Love About Yourself: Embracing My Unique Qualitie

13. Unveiling My Future Career Goals

14. Unveiling My Educational and Career Goals

15. Unveiling My Career Goals in the Healthcare Field

  • Perseverance

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October 21, 2016

Life Lessons in College Essays

Life Lesson in College Essay, Lessons in Admissions Essays, Lessons in College Admission Essay

It’s important to have a life lesson in college essays, right? A great Personal Statement wouldn’t be compelling if it didn’t wrap up with a story about a life lesson learned, right? Maybe it’s about understanding the value of hard work. Maybe it’s about understanding the importance of perseverance and overcoming adversity in pursuit of your goals. Maybe it’s about realizing that all people are, in many ways, more alike than different. These are the kinds of life lessons that make for compelling storytelling not only in the Common Application’s Personal Statement but in the unique supplemental essays for the schools to which students apply, right?

One of these things doesn’t belong in college essays: a life lesson, great storytelling, and colloquial writing. Which one is it, you ask?

No, not right. But the regular readers of our college admissions blog know that the entire introductory paragraph above was one big setup. Life lessons have no place in college admissions essays to highly selective schools. Life lessons are cliche. You pulled your hamstring but nursed your way back from injury to compete in the 100 meter dash again? You may not have won but you tried your best? Cliche. You realized that the folks in Soweto, South Africa are just the same as you and your neighbors in Greenwich, Connecticut? Cliche. You learn about the importance of love and family from your wise grandfather? Cliche.

Life lessons have no place in college essays. Let’s say it again. Life lessons have no place in college essays. When admissions officers are reading hundreds upon hundreds of essays, how many come-from-behind races can they possibly enjoy? The answer is zero. “Full House” was a terrific television show on ABC. And its sequel “Fuller House” is a nice followup on Netflix. For those not familiar with “Full House,” Danny, Jesse, and Joey often imparted life lessons on D.J., Stephanie, Michelle at the end of each episode. But college admissions essays are not episodes of “Full House.” So leave the life lesson out and don’t think twice about it.

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Essay on College Life Experience

Students are often asked to write an essay on College Life Experience in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on College Life Experience


College life is an exciting phase, a transition from high school to a more independent life. It’s a time of learning, self-discovery, and making lifelong friends.

Academic Life

In college, the academic life is challenging yet rewarding. You get to choose your major and study subjects that truly interest you. It’s an opportunity to delve deeper into your passions.

Social Life

College life isn’t just about studies. It’s about meeting new people, participating in clubs and activities, and creating memories. It’s a time to build your social skills and networks.

In conclusion, college life is a unique experience. It’s a journey of growth, learning, and fun filled with unforgettable moments.

250 Words Essay on College Life Experience

College life is a unique blend of academic rigor and social experiences, a transformative journey that shapes the future. It’s a phase of exploration, discovery, and self-realization, where students broaden their horizons, acquire knowledge, and develop life skills.

Academic Growth

Academics in college is a step up from high school, requiring greater discipline and focus. The curriculum is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, encouraging students to delve deeper into their chosen fields. The learning environment fosters critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and independent research abilities, equipping students for their future careers.

Social Experience

College life offers a rich tapestry of social experiences. It’s a melting pot of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and ideas, promoting tolerance, empathy, and global awareness. Students learn to coexist, collaborate, and form lifelong bonds. Participating in clubs, sports, and cultural events enhances interpersonal skills and leadership qualities.

Personal Development

Living away from home, managing time, and handling responsibilities, students cultivate self-reliance and resilience. They learn to balance academics with extracurricular activities, developing a well-rounded personality. The trials and triumphs of college life contribute to personal growth and character building.

In essence, the college life experience is a transformative journey that goes beyond academics. It’s a period of self-discovery, learning, and growth, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the real world. The skills and experiences gained during this time lay the foundation for future success, making college life an invaluable chapter in one’s life.

500 Words Essay on College Life Experience

The unfolding of self-discovery.

The college life experience is a unique blend of academic rigor, personal growth, and social exploration. It is a transformative period that bridges the gap between adolescence and adulthood, allowing students to explore their identities, interests, and future paths.

Academic Enrichment

The academic journey in college is challenging yet rewarding. It provides an opportunity to delve deeply into subjects of interest and explore new disciplines. The intellectual stimulation derived from intense discussions, critical analysis, and problem-solving exercises fosters cognitive growth. It equips students with skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, and problem-solving, which are essential for their professional lives.

Personal Growth

College life is a crucible of personal growth. It’s a time of self-discovery and self-improvement, where students learn to become independent, responsible, and resilient. The experience of living away from home, managing finances, and juggling academic responsibilities instills a sense of self-reliance. Moreover, the exposure to diverse cultures, perspectives, and ideas broadens their worldview and promotes cultural competence.

Social Interactions and Relationships

The social aspect of college life is as impactful as the academic one. It is in college that students form lifelong friendships, engage in meaningful relationships, and build professional networks. Participation in extracurricular activities, clubs, and societies fosters teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills. These experiences contribute to the development of a well-rounded personality.

Preparing for the Future

College life serves as a stepping stone to the future. It provides students with opportunities to gain practical experience through internships, research projects, and job placements. These experiences not only enhance their resumes but also provide them with a glimpse of their future careers. Furthermore, the career guidance and counseling services offered by many colleges assist students in making informed career choices.

Challenges and Overcoming Them

Despite its many benefits, college life is not devoid of challenges. The pressure to excel academically, the stress of managing finances, and the struggle to fit in socially can be overwhelming. However, these challenges are part and parcel of the college experience. They teach students valuable life lessons about resilience, adaptability, and perseverance.

In conclusion, the college life experience is a unique blend of academic enrichment, personal growth, social interactions, and future preparation. It is a transformative period that shapes individuals and prepares them for their future endeavors. Despite the challenges it presents, it equips students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences necessary to navigate the complexities of the adult world. Thus, college life is an invaluable experience that leaves an indelible imprint on an individual’s life.

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college essays about life

What If I Don’t Have Anything Interesting To Write About In My College Essay?

What’s covered:, what makes for a good college essay, how to write a dazzling college essay, will your essay make or break your college application.

College applicants are constantly told that in order to be attractive to admissions committees they need to stand out—but how can you stand out when you live a pretty ordinary life? Lots of students worry that the events of their everyday life are too boring or clichéd to be the topic of a really good essay.

That being said, there’s no need to worry! Your college essay doesn’t need to be about an extraordinary experience you’ve had. Rather, it should depict you as extraordinary. “Uninteresting” topics actually make great college essays because the topic itself doesn’t carry the essay—the student’s individuality does.

Read on for tips on how to write a college essay about an “uninteresting” topic that still shows off your personality, values, interests, and writing skills.

The purpose of your college essay is to humanize yourself to admissions officers so that they can see the ‘real you’ behind the grades and test scores you’ve submitted.

Our article about awesome essay topics gives five structures for a good college essay (though there are many more!):

  • A unique extracurricular activity or passion
  • An activity or interest that contrasts heavily with your profile
  • A seemingly insignificant moment that speaks to larger themes within your life
  • Using an everyday experience or object as a metaphor to explore your life and personality
  • An in-the-moment narrative that tells the story of an important moment in your life

As you might notice, only one of these essay topics references anything exciting, extraordinary, or unique. Set aside the idea that you need to write about something dramatic and unusual. Unusual experiences are not what is most important to admissions officers—rather, it’s important to position yourself as someone that an admissions officer would like to see at their university.

Some things that make for a bad college essay include:

  • Not answering the prompt
  • Stretching a prompt so that your answer doesn’t make sense
  • Writing about a controversial issue, particularly in an irreverent way
  • Showing prejudice
  • Writing about a clichéd topic
  • Writing about anything that advocates disrespect for authority—this can be anything from insulting a teacher to doing an illegal activity
  • Assuming the opinions of your reader

Beyond these boundaries, you can pick any topic you want. It’s how you write about the topic that matters!

Read on for our advice on writing a compelling essay that offers a window into your personality and life experiences.

Our guidance for writing a dazzling essay about an “uninteresting” topic involves:

  • Picking a value or fundamental truth about yourself that will humanize you to admissions officers and tell them something important about yourself
  • Identifying an experience that exemplifies that value or fundamental truth
  • Writing a thoughtful essay that uses your “uninteresting” experience to say something interesting about yourself

1. Get the Ball Rolling

There are many different practices you might find useful as you start brainstorming your college essay. These include freewriting, listing, outlines, and more. That said, don’t feel restricted by brainstorming exercises. Remember that they’re meant to start the process and get the juices flowing. Write down anything and everything that springs to mind—who knows what it could turn into?

Sometimes simple questions can open students up and reveal what is important to them. Here are some questions that might help you brainstorm:

  • What’s the last news story you read and found interesting? This question can help you identify an issue that you are passionate about or a cause that matters a lot to you.
  • What is your proudest accomplishment so far? What about it makes you feel proud? This question can reveal what you consider most important about yourself, which is likely something you find important in life.
  • When have you been the most nervous, and why were you nervous? What was the outcome of the situation? This could be anything from an important performance to standing up for an issue you care about. People’s fears can be an indicator of what they value.
  • What’s the most recent topic you researched on your own just for fun or self-improvement? Have you found yourself going down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia articles recently? Your interests are important to you and say a lot about you.
  • What have you learned from the community you grew up in? What do you value about that community? Your individual history and family history are very important factors in who you are as a person.
  • When have you most recently changed your mind about something important? If growth is important to you, admissions officers want to hear about it.

2. Pick Your Value

If you aren’t going to have a flashy topic, you need to make sure that you use your “uninteresting” topic to say something interesting about yourself. When the admissions officer finishes reading your essay, they should feel like they know you better than when they started reading. So what are you going to tell them about yourself?

Your value or fundamental truth about yourself doesn’t necessarily need to be positive, but neutral/negative values will probably need to be accompanied by self-aware reflection throughout your essay.

Values and fundamental truths can be things like:

  • I have a growth mindset
  • Family loyalty is very important to me
  • Giving gifts that people will treasure is important to me
  • I don’t like to be like everyone else
  • Embarrassment is a major fear of mine
  • I don’t like seeing others in pain
  • I am super curious
  • I always like to be busy
  • I don’t like making mistakes
  • Having fun is important to me
  • I’m a people pleaser
  • Self-care is important to me

3. Pick Your Experience

You will want to pick an anecdote, experience, or example that can serve as a channel through which you can communicate your value. Finding significance in a small incident can be incredibly compelling for your readers. On the other hand, you could explore the meaning of something that you do every day or every week. You can even simply muse on one relationship in your life that speaks to your value. Once you have chosen an experience, you have your topic!

Some “uninteresting” essay topics with interesting implications could be:

  • Making dinner with my mom on Fridays allows me to see how matriarchal strength has been passed down in my family
  • Volunteering at my local community center is how I take care of the natural caretaker in me
  • Going to the mall with my best friend is important to me because choosing which stores to go into is structured spontaneity, and I need structured spontaneity
  • Making cards for my friends’ birthdays started as a way to save money, but I really enjoy how it fuses technical and artistic abilities in a unique way
  • Singing Disney show tunes in the car is when I feel most relaxed because people around me put a lot of pressure on me to grow up fast and sometimes I miss being a kid
  • Going to the hospital to visit my uncle after his surgery was uncomfortable for me because I love others so strongly that it truly hurts me to see them in pain
  • Sleeping with my same stuffed animal every night makes me feel safe, which is important to me because my sister’s health issues cause me anxiety and it’s nice to have something stable to rely on

Some final notes on choosing your essay topic:

  • The topic you initially like the most may not be the one that allows you to write the best possible essay. Be open to trying something different.
  • You don’t need to commit to a topic right away. If it becomes clear after you start outlining or writing that your initial plan isn’t going to work as well as you would like, there’s nothing wrong with altering your topic or starting over with a new topic.

If you still feel stuck, we recommend you take a look at the school-specific supplemental essay questions presented by the colleges to which you’re not applying. One of these prompts might spark an idea in your mind that would also be appropriate for the colleges to which you are applying. Check out the Essay Breakdown posts on the CollegeVine blog for a convenient way to look at this year’s essay questions from many different competitive schools.

4. Make Your Experience Shine

Once you’ve selected a topic, you’ll need to figure out how to develop an essay from it that is technically skillful, compelling to the reader, and true to the vision of yourself that you’re working to portray in your application. Remember, the value of your essay is much more in how you write about your experiences than it is in what experiences you write about.

To write a truly effective college essay, you’ll need to focus not just on depicting your chosen experience, but also on expressing your personal experience in an interesting manner. The experience is simply your scaffolding. The focus of your essay should be what that experience says about you—or what you make it say about you.

When writing about an “uninteresting” experience, you will want to be reflective, be self-aware, and show maturity in your view of your experience. Focus on communicating your thoughts and emotions in a way that evokes emotion in your reader and makes them feel connected to you.

Details are also important to pay attention to while writing your essay, as they’ll bring life and context to your story. Vivid and evocative details can turn your “uninteresting” experience into a relatable and interesting scene in your reader’s imagination.

With skillful writing, powerful word choice, and a good sense of how to develop a fragment of an idea into a longer piece of writing, you can make any topic—no matter how “uninteresting” it may seem—into a mature exploration of your values and a showcase of your skills as a communicator.

It depends . A brilliant essay can’t make up for severe deficiencies in your academic qualifications , but it will still have a significant impact, particularly at smaller and more competitive schools.

If you’re “on the bubble” for admissions, an essay that makes an admissions officer feel like they know you could give them a reason to accept your application. On the other hand, an essay that’s carelessly written, inappropriate, or full of technical errors will hurt your chances of admission, even if you have great qualifications.

If you finish your first draft of your essay and are still worried that your “uninteresting” topic will break your college application, we recommend that you get feedback. Sometimes it can really help to have someone else determine whether or not your voice is shining through in your work. Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement!

To get your college essay edited for free and improve your chances of acceptance at your dream schools, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students will tell you if your essay effectively humanizes you.

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

college essays about life

College Life Essay for Students and Children

500 words essay on college life.

College life is known as one of the most memorable years of one’s life. It is entirely different from school life. College life exposes us to new experiences and things that we were not familiar with earlier. For some people, college life means enjoying life to the fullest and partying hard. While for others, it is time to get serious about their career and study thoroughly for a brighter future.

College Life Essay

Nonetheless, college life remains a memorable time for all of us. Not everyone is lucky enough to experience college life. People do not get the chance to go to college due to various reasons. Sometimes they do not have a strong financial background to do so while other times they have other responsibilities to fulfill. The ones who have had a college life always wish to turn back time to live it all once again.

The Transition from School Life to College Life

College life is a big transition from school life. We go through a lot of changes when we enter college. Our schools were a safe place where we had grown up and spent half our lives. The transition to college is so sudden that you’re no longer protected by your teachers and friends of your school time.

College life poses a lot of challenges in front of you. You are now in a place full of unfamiliar faces where you need to mingle in. It teaches us to socialize and form opinions of our own. In college, students learn their free will and they go on to become more confident and composed.

In school life, we were always dependant on our friends or teachers. College life teaches us to be independent. It makes us stronger and teaches us to fight our own battles. It also makes us serious about our careers. We make decisions that will affect our future all by ourselves, as in school life our parents did it for us.

Additionally, in schools, we viewed our teachers as our mentors and sometimes even parents. We respected them and kept a distance. However, in college life, the teacher-student relationship becomes a bit informal. They become more or less like our friends and we share our troubles and happiness with them as we did with our friends.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

College Life Experience

College life experience is truly one of a kind. The most common memories people have of college life are definitely goofing around with friends. They remember how the group of friends walked around the college in style and playing silly pranks on each other.

Moreover, people always look back at the times spent in the college canteen. It was considered the hub of every student where they enjoyed eating and chatting away with their friends.

Another college life experience I have seen people cherish the most is the annual fest. The annual fest created so much excitement and buzz amongst the students. Everyone welcomed other colleges with open arms and also made friends there. All the competitions were carried out in a good spirit and the students dressed their best to represent their college well.

FAQs on College Life

Q.1 How is college life different from school life?

A.1 College life is completely different from school life. It gives us more exposure and also makes us more confident. Our teachers act more like friends in college, whereas in school they’re like our mentors. Most importantly, college life gives us various challenges than our school life.

Q.2 What are some memories of college life?

A.2 Those who have experienced college life have some common memories. People always remember their free time which they spent with friends goofing around. Everyone remembers the annual fest of the college which brought so much excitement and buzz in student’s lives. Furthermore, they remember the college canteen which always fed their empty stomachs.

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  • College Life Essay


Anticipated Experiences During Our College Life

College Life is one of the most remarkable and lovable times of an individual's life. Unlike School Life, College Life has a different experience, and a person needs to have this experience in his/her life. College Life exposes us to whole new experiences which we always dream of experiencing after our school life. Lucky are those who get the chance to enjoy their college life, as many people don't get this chance due to their circumstances or financial issues. For every person, College Life has a different meaning. While some people spend their college life partying with friends, others become more cautious about their careers and study hard. Whatever the way, every individual enjoys their college life and always wishes to relive that time once it is over.

College Life Experience: How is it different from School Life?

Both school life and college life is the most memorable time of a person's life, but both of them are quite different from each other. While in School life, we learn everything in a protected environment, College Life exposes us to a new environment where we have to learn new things and face new challenges by ourselves. We spend half of our young lives in school, and thus we get comfortable living in that environment. But College Life is for three years only, where every year introduces new challenges and lessons to us. While in school, our teachers and friends always protect and guard us, in college life we form a relationship with our mentors, and they don't protect us all the time as our school teachers did. 

Unlike school life, we don't have many limitations in college life, and it is up to us how we want to spend our college life. In college life, we see new faces and experience a unique environment in which we have to mingle ourselves. We make new friends there who stay with us for the rest of our lives. Also, we get a chance to shape our careers asking the right decisions and studying hard. College life is not only about the study but also about the overall development of an individual through various activities and challenges.

In College Life, one gets a chance to make their own decisions. In school life, students get an opportunity to be class monitors. In College Life, an individual gets a chance to nominate himself/herself for more prominent positions like College President, Vice President, Secretary, and Vice Secretary. Apart from deciding the course and stream, an individual gets a chance to build his/her confidence by being a part of various societies and events that take place all year.

Different from School Life, College Life has its importance in a person's life, and one should always enjoy his/her college life.

A Bridge Between Our Student and Adult Lives

College life is considered a bridge in our lives between our school days and our career. It prepares us with the finest academics and platform to generate dreams into realities. It acts as a transition to prepare us to be more independent. In school, we were dependent on our parents. However, we became independent in college regarding studying, traveling, decision-making, and financially independent after college. It is a valued and very smooth transition where we do not realize that we have become independent. 

Some Fun Memories from College Life

Firstly, some of the most fun memories of college are “college canteen”. The canteen is supposed to be where most of the students satisfy their hunger and hang out with their friends. 

Secondly, it’s the “annual fest” of the colleges. Fests always filled the student’s life with excitement and buzz. It gave new opportunities to explore, compare, compete and provide a platform to showcase their talent. It became a place where students take lots of pictures and record their experiences. 

Last but not the least, it’s the college trips. One of the best things in college life is field trips where they can go out and have quality time with their friends and teacher and learning experience. Field trips or just any other college trips are filled with stories and dramas. Every student has their own story to tell about their college trips. 

We should enjoy our college days as they cannot be brought back just like our school days. 

The Hardest Part of College Life

As a college student, the hardest part of college life was leaving college after graduation or post-graduation. The last days of college were the hardest, knowing that soon you will be departing your friends, the campus, teachers and completely leaving behind a part of life.  

My College Days Experience

Talking about my college life, I had enjoyed my college life to the fullest and had some of the best college days of my life. I was a student of one of the most reputed colleges of Delhi University and, i.e. Gargi College. I have completed my B.A. (Hons.) in Applied Psychology from there. Gargi College is one of the renowned and best colleges of Delhi University. Built in a larger area, it is a beautiful college with many courses in streams like Science, Commerce, Arts, and Humanities. With an outstanding academic record, it is a girls college.

When I took admission to this college, I was really afraid as all the people were new to me. But soon, I started enjoying my college life and made some fantastic friends. I loved everything about my college and participated in the events at my college. Even I joined the dance society of my college and participated in many dance competitions that occurred in different colleges of Delhi University. 

One of the best things about college life is that you get a new experience every day. In my college life, along with studying, I and my friends enjoyed a lot of other things. We traveled to lots of places, had new experiences, and learned many new things. Our college's canteen was a remarkable place in my college life as whenever we got time, we used to chill in the canteen. 

Another thing I loved about my college life is Annual Fests. Every year, every college of Delhi University organizes an annual fest that lasts for 2-3 days. In this annual fest, various competitions happen, and students from various colleges come to be a part of this annual fest. Every year, our college organizes a massive annual fest and all the students of our college participate in various events and enjoy a lot in this fest. These fests allow students to socialize with new people and showcase their talent to everyone which builds their confidence and helps them in their future. I have participated in my college's annual fest for all three years, and I have got the best exposure and experience of my life through this fest. I had the best time of my life in college, and my college life memories will always make me happy.

Life After College

One fine day, you will be silently smiling with wet eyes, looking at the pictures from your college and old friends, and remembering all the good times you had in your college days. That is the beauty of studying in a college. Despite climbing the ladders of success, you will cherish the memories of your college life.

College Life is a remarkable and essential time in a person's life, and everyone should enjoy it. College Life teaches us many things and builds our confidence to face the challenges and struggles in our future. Instead of just focussing on the study, a person must participate in other activities and socialize as much as possible in his/her college life as all these things help in the overall development of a person.


FAQs on College Life Essay

Q1. What is the difference between college life and school life?

When compared to each other, they both are completely different from each other. College life provides us with different opportunities to explore to nurture our confidence in the outside world. In school, the teacher acts as a monitor whereas, in college, they act like our friends, and not to forget, in college, we face more challenges than we had in our school.

Q2. Explain some of the common memories of college life.

Whenever you hear the word college, the first thing that comes to our mind is “college canteen”. The most beloved place for every student was to feed their empty stomach, spend time with friends, and create thousands of memories. Another most common memory is of the annual fest that bought buzz in every student’s life.

Q3. Why are colleges necessary?

When we go to school, they ensure that we have common educational knowledge. Whereas in college, we get specialization in a particular field we want to pursue as our career. That’s the reason our school friends get scattered in various colleges to make their dreams a reality and open better career options.

Q4. Which two things need to be focused on the most in college?

The two most important things in college are the Grade Point Average (GPA) and your participation in other co-curricular activities.

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Life College Essays Samples For Students

20450 samples of this type

Over the course of studying in college, you will inevitably need to pen a bunch of College Essays on Life. Lucky you if putting words together and organizing them into relevant content comes easy to you; if it's not the case, you can save the day by finding an already written Life College Essay example and using it as a template to follow.

This is when you will certainly find WowEssays' free samples catalog extremely useful as it includes numerous expertly written works on most various Life College Essays topics. Ideally, you should be able to find a piece that meets your criteria and use it as a template to compose your own College Essay. Alternatively, our competent essay writers can deliver you an original Life College Essay model written from scratch according to your personal instructions.

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Art nouveau essay samples.

In this essay I will discuss the style label Art Nouveau. I will focus on graphic media, posters in particular in the year period of 1900s. I will discuss the so called fin-de-siecle poster. This means the main focus of this paper is on French art and design in this period. It is in France where Art Nouveau was originated and developed the most intensively.

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Free Essay On Tim O Briens and Brian Mockenhaupt

When it comes to the subject of war, no two experiences are the same. Each individual leaves the battlefield having felt different feelings. They carry baggage home with them that only they can deal with because only they understand what they are going through. Two good examples of come from a comparison of Tim O’Brien’s, “Pro Patria,” and Brian Mockenhaupt’s, “I Miss Iraq. I miss my gun. I miss my War.”

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International baccalaureate, free essay about socrates and logic, part 1: socrates.

The story of the oracle tells of a situation that arose in Athens where Socrates was rumored to be the wisest of the men that were alive at the time and in the city of Athens in particular. To him, Socrates thought others to be wiser. He especially considered men in Athens of high regard such as statesmen, poets and artisans to be wiser than he was. Specifically, such men considered themselves wise, and the society accepted this fact for truth since they were policy makers and the creative minds in the society.

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Laura Ling was the main speaker at the event and she gave a comprehensive account for her experiences in North Korea where she was detained for more than 40 days together with a colleague, Euna Lee. Ling is an American journalist who specializes in human rights investigative journalism and some of her reports cover aspects such slave labor, drug trade, internet censorship, women rights amongst others.

Example Of Universal Ethical Rules Essay

Every day we face with situations in which we should make choice. It can be connected with different sphere of life: what clothes to wear, what book to read or what profession to choose. But sometimes our choice is invisible for everybody and influential for ourselves. I mean the situation when we have an inner conflict between what we want to do and what we realize we should do.

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Is evolution true, interpersonal intelligence essay, interpersonal intelligence.

Introduction Intelligence is a word derived from Latin that refers to the ability of someone to be logic, plan communicate and understand others. Problem-solving is still a key in the intelligence capability of someone; it is believed learning, and creativity of someone is influenced by intelligence capability of the individual (Peterson, 2004). Interpersonal intelligence

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In everyone’s life, there are some actions or events that define who or how a person is. I am also not an exception. But among all, there is one that disillusioned me of a lifelong misconception about myself. The irony of my life led to a subconscious false and flat (stereotypical) lifestyle that needed a shock (climax) to wake me up to true self discovery.

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Langston Hughes’ in his poem "Harlem (A Dream Deferred)" and Lorraine Hansberry’s "A Raisin in the Sun" look at the impact of racial prejudice in the lives of African-Americans. The main idea of both writers is show how the economic effect of how racism leads individuals to dream about a better life. Both writers describe the psychology of having dreams and ambitions, and the how living in a society built on racism conflicts with the success of dreams.

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Issues and impacts of online social networking sites, islamic art essays example, islamic art: understanding visual wealth behind religion.

The consistent way of adding in faith into their work was a distinct characteristic of Islamic art. Among the primary themes that are found in such artistic works include the presentation of Mohammad, the distinct identification of Allah’s power and the way the Moslems prayed and praised their God Allah. These particular presentations about common themes in the Islamic belief create a well-drawn definition on how they ought to follow the distinct rules of Islam in their lives. What is specifically evident in most Islamic art forms is the absence of personas unlike other religious works.

The Metamorphosis Essay Sample

Essay proposal of “the metamorphosis”.

The novella, “The Metamorphosis,” is written by Franz Kafka. The conflict between Gregor’s body and mind makes a tremendous change in his life, as it is a second change after he becomes a cockroach. His mind has to adjust to the requirements of his new body and new life as a gigantic insect. He recognizes the limits of his new body. He starts hating milk that he likes when he is human. He gets personal feelings for his sister, feeling of guilt, and feeling sorrow when he hears his father discussing the family’s financial condition and plight.

Essay On Jilting of Granny Weatherall

Essay outline.

- Thesis: In Katherine Porter’s Jilting of Granny Weatherall, granny Weartherall’s main antagonist is life itself (that throws back and forth), but she manages to soldier on and weather all kinds of adversity till her death.

- Jilted at the age of 20

- Granny Weatherall gets jilted by her lover, George, at the age of 20.

- She withstands the pain of the break-up.

- Sick at 40

- At the age of 40, granny Weatherall develops milky leg and double pneumonia.

- She manages to pull through.

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Article analysis, good cosmos: a spacetime odyssey essay example.

Most friends chuckle when I tell them that my favorite TV show is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and its host, the Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is my hero. They get startled knowing that I spend Friday nights at the observatory of a local university, peering through a 20-inch telescope at the moon, globular clusters, planets, nebulas, and galaxies. They gave up listening on knowing that I usually spend several hours a night watching YouTube clips on the double slit theory, the effect of gravity on time, subatomic particles, and other mysteries related to the very essence of the universe.

Good Example Of Essay On Maasai

The point of this paper is to trace the origin of the maasai through their stories in order to find out if they were myths or legends.The Maasai is a group of plain Nilotes mostly living in the east African region. Their culture, mostly surrounds nomadic pastoralists that move with their cattle in search of water and pasture. Their creation myth surrounds livestock and mainly cattle which they hold sacred. They attribute their way of life to a myth in which Enkai sent them with cattle from heaven to look after them.

Animal Life Essay Examples

Example of modern communication technology essay.

Technology has changed every aspect of human life. It has changed the way how people communicate with their family and friends. The process of growth in technology and communication have been observed in a parallel way and technological inventions like internet, mobile phones, social media has helped the communication in entering into the next level. This paper intends to discuss the way how technology has influenced the way of communication in modern times.

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The essay “Mimis in the Middle” describes the life of American Mexicans in their most vulnerable period of life. The fact that the Mimis are teenagers raised in a Mexican family is difficult and can be truly painful for the majority of teenagers, but the Mimis found a way to escape from that gloom reality and become the popular blondes whom everyone like. The virtual reality that the Mimis have created helped the whole family to feel better about them and gave hope for everyone that maybe they can feel as true Americans.

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Kenya has depicted some interesting trends in the socioeconomic sphere, since its independence some of them are portraying consistency like urbanization and fertility rate while others like per capita income, life expectancy and official development assistance, etc. show some marked changes. Some of these changes and their reasons along with their mutual correlation are explained in the following lines.

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It is hard enough being I is an essay by Anna Lisa Raya where she explains to the reader how it is hard for her being a Latino in a place that is populated by white Americans. The author is the daughter of a second- generation Mexican American and a Puerto Rican mother. She wrote this essay when she was an undergraduate student in the University of Columbia, where she faced challenges on her identity. The main response to the essay is the issue of culture shock and discrimination faced by minorities in a society that is populated by white people.

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Going through the book “Curious reader” I have come across very interesting issues I had no or less idea about. Among the articles I come across were:

Hodgman, Ann. “No wonder they call me a bitch“ The Curious Reader. (2009)

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Getting admitted to a reputable college is one of the most important goals of a student’s life. Students all over the world struggle with anxiety, exhaustion, lack of self-assurance etc. to go through this phase in their life successfully (Thacker 33). Trying to enter one’s favorite college is an exhausting experience as one spends his days and nights to prepare for the competitive exam. The question is whether it is justifiable to involve too much competition in the admission procedures or not?

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I have always been a bubbly person, very creative and open to trying out new things. I have one thing I love about myself but again, that most people do not like; I make fun of people in class.

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There were a lot of knights recorded in King Arthur’s time. Most of them are renowned because of their greatness like Sir Launcelot du Lake, Sir Tristram de Liones, Sir Lamorak de Galis, and many more. Because of the numbers of the knights at that time many knights will forget the faces and will just rely on their titles. With all the titles they have, no one will forget the kindness of Sir Lamorak.

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Life is sometimes about taking care of others. Taking care of others is about nurturing, loving and showing compassion to others. Many people dislike taking care of the old persons as they are difficult to deal with due to their physical and emotional problems. As a result, many people will always run away from performing this responsibility. In order to have a detailed perspective over the sandwich generation, the conducted interview involves a man that is caring for his young siblings and his old parents, and whose responses constitute the details of this essay.

Essay On Comparison of Stories

It is no secret that there are many short stories and novels written about certain periods of the humankind development. All the works have something in common (for example, they all describe an epoch or only several years – some period of time). However, they are different. This essay is aimed at showing the differences and similarities of two essays that I have read. The first short story was written by Gilbert Highet, and the second story was written by Bruce Catton.

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Born and raised for the most part in Singapore, though a native of Indonesia, due to the turbulent political situation in Singapore I was sent to a boarding school called Timbertop near Melbourne in Australia, then later to Geelong Grammar School, a top-rated school about 40 miles from Melbourne.

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International Politics Major Places First in Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest

Veronika Miskowiec, a second-year Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar majoring in international politics was awarded first place in the Collegiate Laws of Life essay contest for her paper titled “A Tale of Lions and Oxen”. Congratulations Veronika! Full story

college essays about life


IOE - Faculty of Education and Society

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Exploring digital life-worlds: the postphenomenology of writing

01 May 2024, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

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This UCL Knowledge Lab workshop will explore postphenomenological concepts and research practices.

This event is free.

Event Information


Postphenomenology employs a variety of phenomenological and empirically grounded methods to capture the everyday, lived experiences of different technologies including disciplined observation of humans employing specific technologies, “interviewing objects” and “thing writing”.

Postphenomenological analysis often begins by first reconstructing “posthuman anecdotes”, that is, descriptions of human-technology-world interactions as they are lived, then subjecting these “reassembled resemblings” to a set of postphenomenological analytic tools to help untangle how humans and different technologies in use are mutually shaping and co-constituting each other. Analytics include studying breakdowns (e.g., the “broken hammer” strategy), attending to the invitational quality of things, and discerning the spectrum of human-technology-world relations.

Incorporating the approaches described above with Max van Manen’s work on the phenomenology of practice (2016, 2023), this UCL Knowledge Lab workshop will provide multiple opportunities to experience postphenomenological concepts and research practices firsthand. Participants will also have the opportunity to experience:

  • attuning to the lived meaning of specific technologies through using different writing instruments,
  • writing a postphenomenological description of their experience, and
  • in small groups, trying one or more analytic techniques (e.g., uncovering human-technology-world relations, phenomenological variation), towards an apprehension of generative AIs and writing

Please note this is an in-person event.

Related links

  • UCL Knowledge Lab
  • Culture, Communication and Media

About the Speakers

Professor cathy adams.

Professor of educational computing at Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Professor Adams' research investigates digital technology integration across K-12 and post-secondary educational environments, ethical and pedagogical issues involving digital technologies including Artificial Intelligence, and K-12 Computing Science curriculum and computational thinking (CT) pedagogy. Cathy employs a range of posthuman-postdigital methods in her inquiries including interviewing objects, postphenomenology, phenomenology of practice, media ecology, and other new materialist and sociomaterialist approaches.

Professor Lesley Gourlay

Professor of Education at UCL Knowledge Lab

Professor Gourlay's scholarship focuses on technologies and knowledge practices, with a particular emphasis on textual practices and the digital. Her recent theoretical work has focused on sociomaterial, posthuman and postphenomenological perspectives on engagement in the university, exploring themes of surveillance, inscription, nonhuman agency, and digital media. She is a recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2021-2024) and recently completed a monograph (Bloomsbury) The University and the Algorithmic Gaze: Documentation and Performativity in Digitised Education.

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college essays about life

Regions Riding Forward® Scholarship Contest

college essays about life

Their Story. Your Voice.

Your voice is your own. But it's also been impacted by others. Who, we wonder, has inspired you? Let us know by entering the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest. 

You could win an $8,000 college scholarship

For the opportunity to win an $8,000 scholarship, submit a video or written essay about an individual you know personally (who lives in your community) who has inspired you and helped you build the confidence you need to achieve your goals.

college essays about life

The details

The 2024 Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest consists of four (4) separate Quarterly Contests - one for each calendar quarter of 2024. Regions is awarding four $8,000 scholarships through each Quarterly Contest.

Each Quarterly Contest has its own separate entry period, as provided in the chart below.

The entry deadline for each Quarterly Contest is 11:59:59 PM Central Time on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date (set forth in the chart above).

No purchase or banking relationship required.

Regions believes in supporting the students whose passion and actions every day will continue to make stories worth sharing. That’s why we have awarded over $1 million in total scholarships to high school and college students.

How to enter, 1. complete an online quarterly contest application.

Enter the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest by completing a Quarterly Contest application.  The second Quarterly Contest runs from April 1, 2024 through June 30, 2024. Complete and save all requested information. 

2. Prepare your Written Essay or Video Essay

For each Quarterly Contest, the topic of your Written Essay or Video Essay (your “Essay Topic”) must be an individual you know personally, who lives in your community. Your Written Essay or Video Essay must address how the individual you have selected as your Essay Topic has inspired you and helped you build the confidence you need to achieve your goals.

Written Essay and Video Essay submissions must meet all of the requirements described in the contest Official Rules. Your Written Essay or Video Essay must be (i) in English, (ii) your own original work, created solely by you (and without the use of any means of artificial intelligence (“AI”)), and (iii) the exclusive property of you alone.

Written Essays must be 500 words or less. You can write your Written Essay directly in the application, or you can copy and paste it into the appropriate area in the application form.

Video Essay submissions must be directly uploaded to the contest application site. Video Essays must be no more than 3 minutes in length and no larger than 1 GB. Only the following file formats are accepted: MP4, MPG, MOV, AVI, and WMV. Video Essays must not contain music of any kind nor display any illegal, explicit, or inappropriate material, and Video Essays must not be password protected or require a log-in/sign-in to view. You must upload your Video Essay to the application, and you may not submit your Video Essay in DVD or other physical form. (Video Essays submitted via mail will not be reviewed or returned.)

Tips to Record Quality Videos on a Smartphone:

  • Don’t shoot vertical video. Computer monitors have landscape-oriented displays, so shoot your video horizontally.
  • Use a tripod. Even small movements can make a big difference when editing.
  • Don’t use zoom. If you need to get a close shot of the subject, move closer as zooming can cause pixilation.
  • Use natural lighting. Smartphone lighting can wash out your video.

3. Review and submit your Quarterly Contest application

Review your information on your Quarterly Application (and check the spelling of a Written Essay) and submit your entry by 11:59:59 p.m. Central Time on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date. The second Quarterly Contest period end date is June 30, 2024.

4. Await notification

Winning entries are selected by an independent panel of judges who are not affiliated with Regions. If your entry is selected as a Quarterly Contest winner, you will need to respond to ISTS with the required information.


For purposes of this contest:

  • The “Eligible States” are defined as the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
  • An “accredited college” is defined as a nonprofit, two- or four-year college or university located within one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia.

To be eligible to enter this contest and to win an award in a Quarterly Contest, at the time of entry, you must:

  • Be a legal U.S. resident of one of the Eligible States.
  • Be age 16 or older.
  • Have at least one (1) year (or at least 18 semester hours) remaining before college graduation.
  • If you are not yet in college, begin your freshman year of college no later than the start of the 2025 – 2026 college academic school year.
  • As of your most recent school enrollment period, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in school (and if no GPA is provided at school, be in “good standing” or the equivalent thereof in school).

View Official Rules

NO PURCHASE OR BANKING RELATIONSHIP REQUIRED. PURCHASE OR BANKING RELATIONSHIP WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. The 2024 Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest (the “Contest”) consists of four (4) separate quarterly contests (each a “Quarterly Contest”): (1) the “Q-1 Contest;” (2) the “Q-2 Contest;” (3) the “Q-3 Contest;” and (4) the “Q-4 Contest.” The Q-1 Contest begins on 02/01/24 and ends on 03/31/24; the Q-2 Contest begins on 04/01/24 and ends on 06/30/24; the Q-3 Contest begins on 07/01/24 and ends on 09/30/24; and the Q-4 Contest begins on 10/01/24 and ends on 12/31/24. (For each Quarterly Contest, entries must be submitted and received by 11:59:59 PM CT on the applicable Quarterly Contest period end date.) To enter and participate in a particular Quarterly Contest, at the time of entry, you must: (a) be a legal U.S. resident of one of the Eligible States; (b) be 16 years of age or older; (c) have at least one (1) year (or at least 18 semester hours) remaining before college graduation; (d) (if you are not yet in college) begin your freshman year of college no later than the start of the 2025 – 2026 college academic school year; and (e) as of your most recent school enrollment period, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in school (and if no grade point average is provided at school, be in “good standing” or the equivalent thereof in school). (For purposes of Contest, the “Eligible States” are defined as the states of AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN and TX.) Visit for complete Contest details, including eligibility and Written Essay and Video Essay requirements and Official Rules. (Limit one (1) entry per person, per Quarterly Contest.) For each Quarterly Contest, eligible entries will be grouped according to form of entry (Written Essay or Video Essay) and judged by a panel of independent, qualified judges. A total of four (4) Quarterly Contest Prizes will be awarded in each Quarterly Contest, consisting of two (2) Quarterly Contest Prizes for the Written Essay Entry Group and two (2) Quarterly Contest Prizes for the Video Essay Entry Group. Each Quarterly Contest Prize consists of a check in the amount of $8,000 made out to winner’s designated accredited college. (Limit one (1) Quarterly Contest Prize per person; a contestant is permitted to win only one (1) Quarterly Contest Prize through the Contest.) Sponsor: Regions Bank, 1900 Fifth Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203.

© 2024 Regions Bank. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.

2023 Winners

High school:.

  • Amyrrean Acoff
  • Leon Aldridge
  • Kharis Andrews
  • Colton Collier
  • Indya Griffin
  • Christopher Hak
  • Aquil Hayes
  • Jayden Haynes
  • McKenna Jodoin
  • Paris Kelly
  • Liza Latimer
  • Dylan Lodle
  • Anna Mammarelli
  • Karrington Manley
  • Marcellus Odum
  • Gautami Palthepu
  • Melody Small
  • Lauryn Tanner
  • Joshua Wilson
  • Mohamed Ali
  • Kayla Bellamy
  • Lauren Boxx
  • Alexandria Brown
  • Samuel Brown
  • Thurston Brown
  • Conner Daehler
  • Tsehai de Souza
  • Anjel Echols
  • Samarion Flowers
  • Trinity Griffin
  • Kristina Hilton
  • Ryan Jensen
  • Miracle Jones
  • Shaniece McGhee
  • Chelby Melvin
  • Lamiya Ousley
  • Kiera Phillips
  • Gabrielle Pippins
  • Ethan Snead
  • Sydney Springs
  • Kirsten Tilford
  • Tamira Weeks
  • Justin Williams

2022 Winners

  • Paul Aucremann
  • William Booker
  • Robyn Cunningham
  • Kani'ya Davis
  • Oluwatomi Dugbo
  • Lillian Goins
  • Parker Hall
  • Collin Hatfield
  • Gabrielle Izu
  • Kylie Lauderdale
  • Jacob Milan
  • Jackson Mitchell
  • Carmen Moore
  • Madison Morgan
  • Kaden Oquelí-White
  • Kaylin Parks
  • Brian Perryman
  • De'Marco Riggins
  • Brianna Roundtree
  • Sydney Russell
  • Carlie Spore
  • Morgan Standifer
  • Ionia Thomas
  • Ramaya Thomas
  • Jaylen Toran
  • Amani Veals
  • Taylor Williams
  • Alana Wilson
  • Taryn Wilson
  • Aryaunna Armstrong
  • Hannah Blackwell
  • T'Aneka Bowers
  • Naomi Bradley
  • Arianna Cannon
  • Taylor Cline
  • Catherine Cummings
  • Margaret Fitzgerald
  • Chloe Franklin
  • Camryn Gaines
  • Thomas Greer
  • Kayla Helleson
  • Veronica Holmes
  • Logan Kurtz
  • Samuel Lambert
  • Jaylon Muchison
  • Teresa Odom
  • Andrew Payne
  • Carey Price
  • Emily SantiAnna
  • Curtis Smith
  • Jered Smith
  • Mariah Standifer
  • Maura Taylor
  • Anna Wilkes


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    Unoriginal essay introductions are easily forgotten and don't demonstrate a high level of creative thinking. A college essay is intended to give insight into the personality and background of an applicant, so a standard, one-size-fits-all introduction may lead admissions officers to think they are dealing with a standard, unremarkable applicant.

  11. 8 Overcoming Challenges College Essay Examples

    Essay 1: Becoming a Coach. "Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.". Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.

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    The personal statement category includes college essay topics about your life and experiences. A personal statement will often pertain to a challenging moment in your life or a time in which you grew or learned a lesson. For most students, the personal statement is akin to the Common App essay. 2. "Why School" Essay

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    500 Words Essay on College Life. College life is known as one of the most memorable years of one's life. It is entirely different from school life. College life exposes us to new experiences and things that we were not familiar with earlier. For some people, college life means enjoying life to the fullest and partying hard.

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  22. International Politics Major Places First in Collegiate Laws of Life

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  23. Exploring digital life-worlds: the postphenomenology of writing

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  24. Riding Forward Scholarship Contest

    Written Essays must be 500 words or less. You can write your Written Essay directly in the application, or you can copy and paste it into the appropriate area in the application form. Video Essay submissions must be directly uploaded to the contest application site. Video Essays must be no more than 3 minutes in length and no larger than 1 GB.