The college admissions process can be stressful, and drafting a 650-word essay that’s supposed to explain who you are can seem daunting. We hope that the following quick guide on how to draft a compelling response to the Common App essay prompt #2 will help ease your burdens! For additional resources regarding other Common App essay prompts and the college admissions process, generally, feel free to visit our Resources Page and our College Admissions Editing Page.
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?” 1. IDENTIFY A CONFLICT THAT JEOPARDIZES YOUR PASSIONS. Describe something you enjoy or care about immensely. The activity doesn’t need to be extraordinary. Rather, be genuine. Also, make sure to identify an issue that threatened your ability to continue pursuing the passion you identified. Show the stakes you thought you could have lost if you couldn’t have resolved the problem. Topics can cover any aspect of your life, but be careful when addressing potentially offensive or emotionally charged content. 2. SHOW GROWTH IN HANDLING THE ISSUE. Now that you’ve introduced the dilemma and why it was significant to you, explain how you reacted to the matter, what steps you took to address the issue, and, most importantly, how the experience altered your perspectives on the issue and expanded your viewpoints of the world? How did this “setback” help you become a more well-rounded person? Think of personal development issues like learning to change your perspective, building perseverance, or becoming aware of your own prejudices or shortcomings.3. PROVE YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED. How did solving the dilemma or reaching that epiphany change or reinforce your values? Would what you have learned help you to thrive in a college environment where you’d assuredly meet people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives? How do you intend to apply what you have learned to life in college and beyond? Show how your experience helped shape who you are and the personal goals you have set for yourself. Identify a couple of courses and extracurricular activities you’d tackle with your new outlook on life. Stylistically, end your essay by coming full circle. Combine elements in your opening paragraph with an optimistic future outlook. Remember you’re telling YOUR story. Each word should focus on personal growth. Resilience and perseverance are the hallmarks of success. Do you have what it takes to succeed? If so, prove it!