While some of these topics may seem like strong contenders initially, many essays written on these themes tend to be so overdone, it’s hard for an applicant to stand out and write about them in a way that’s both fresh and meaningful.
Other themes are poor choices because students often use them as opportunities to release pent-up emotions and unwittingly turn their essays into therapy sessions that are inappropriate for the purposes of a college application.
Love tends to exist in many different ways and can be expressed in small gratitude.
It makes the person or thing that is loved to feel special and be treated in a specific manner.
You will find yourself able to move forward and embrace your life without your loved one by your side.
Your process through bereavement and grief are your own. Above all, be kind to yourself and know that you will wake one day and find the pain is less, and life can go on.
Despite the topic clearly falling into one of the four verboten categories highlighted above, this student’s essay worked.
Granted, he didn’t spend the entire piece memorializing his father; rather, he wrote about his father’s death for approximately 20 percent of the essay, and wisely used the remaining space to reflect on how that experience influenced some of the choices he’s made in his own life since then.
Admissions officers aren’t going to admit a student because they feel sorry for his loss or take pity on his family’s circumstances.
They want to admit a student who (in addition to handling the academic load, of course) is thoughtful, motivated and will bring something unique to college.