Favorite word college essay

Playing the violin or the tuba, or the French horn doesn't count; nor does speaking Latin or Japanese. You should talk about something truly unique and surprising. Once you know what you're writing about, a good strategy for developing your essay is to think about why you have this quirk. Why do you wake up at 5 am to memorize poetry? Why do you intently and methodologically practice whistling? Tell the committee a story about how you adopted this particular habit or trait.

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Was it a reaction to a formative event in your life? Something you learned to do to make yourself feel better during times of stress? As you wrap up this essay, think about how you might explain this to your roommate at UVA. How will this tradition factor into your life in Charlottesville, and how do you want to add to UVA's culture?

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As you approach this essay, a good strategy is to trust your first instinct rather than overthink what your answer "should" be. That is, don't worry about impressing the committee with a Flash Seminar that would nicely complement an interesting course in the School of Commerce. Instead, use this opportunity to show off your passion for Aboriginal Australian folklore or contemporary art in Singapore.

Your first instinct is probably a good reflection of something that is interesting and representative of you. It's also likely to be a unique answer - lots of people will try to write as the "ideal applicant," but you should just write as yourself. Once you've chosen a topic and premise, think about what you actually want to share in the seminar. What are some things that your future classmates ought to know about this topic? How would you structure the class? An important question you ought to address is how you want this seminar to affect your classmates.

What sort of late night conversations will take place in the dorms after your seminar? Finally, remember that these seminars are student-designed and student-led: how would this affect you? What might you learn? How will this opportunity help you develop your own passions? The key to this question is balancing brevity and depth. You won't have much room on the bridge, so you'll need to craft a message that is both important to you and informative to your peers. Think about a cause that is deeply important to you: it could be something broad and international like gender equality or environmental issues, or something that is experienced more locally, like sustainable food or simply being kind to strangers on the sidewalk.

Then try to come up with something concise and memorable. It could be something original or, potentially, a clever twist on an existing slogan. Why is this the message you chose? What do you want students to think about when they see it?

How to write your college application essay

And what about the rest of the UVA community - does your message have a special meaning to faculty and staff? You should also reflect on your strategy - will you use bright fluorescent colors, or maybe use UVA's traditional colors? What sort of tone do you want to set?


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Will you be confrontational and blunt or subtle and congenial? Finally, what would it mean to you to have an opportunity to paint on the Beta Bridge? This is a rare chance to share something important to you with your community, and in doing so take part in an important UVA tradition. How would you feel - nervous? Remember: this is your chance to share something meaningful to you. Show and tell the committee why this is matters so much. Pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and using that knowledge to make a difference in the world are two of the core values of academia, so this question is a good chance to reflect on how you see yourself as part of the intellectual community.

It's also a prompt that may overlap with your answers to the main essay, so if you choose this option make sure your essays each reveal something unique about yourself.

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Answers to this question will have a natural arc: what did you learn? How did you feel about acquiring this knowledge? Where did you see potential to put this knowledge to good use? What did you do, and how do you feel about your actions? How are you a different person because of this experience? Keep in mind that you don't need to have cured a disease or invented something significant in order to answer this question well.

The goal is to show an appreciation for the human side of education. As you wrap up this essay, be sure to reflect on how this experience has shaped you as a student and scholar. Does this experience affect potential majors or post-graduate plans? Are there organizations or causes at the University of Virginia you hope to join? It will be important to show that your experience was not a discrete, one-off event.

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This essay is a chance to demonstrate what sort of student and professional you want to be. There are lots of ways to approach this essay - you'll first need to decide whether you want to focus on a piece of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature, then decide how to frame your reaction to it. Given the flexibility in this prompt, you may want to think about the rest of your application and what "holes" you need to fill - for example, if you haven't found a place to talk about your interest in astrobiology or the sitar, this is an excellent place to work that in.

As with many of the questions in the UVA supplemental section, your first instincts are probably the best things to discuss. Don't try to impress the committee with an obscure work of literature or science; really think about something in the arts and sciences that has profoundly affected you. Some good possibilities to consider: is there a favorite book from your childhood that you've recently re-read with a more mature perspective?

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Was there a lesson in a science class that has fundamentally challenged the way you think about the world? Have you encountered some work of folk music or art that has helped you connect with your community or a new community in a profound way? Be sure to write about the impact this work has had on you: the committee wants to know how you've been surprised, challenged, or unsettled.

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The key to this question is that you have to show how you are a different person because of your encounter with this piece of art or science. Try to answer these two questions: what has changed about how you think about and interact with the world? How does this experience influence your approach to art or science now?


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As I continued into high school, my Spanish skills flourished. I began to think in Spanish, palabras words swirling inside my head, interchanging with English. Foreign words, unknown to me and not necessarily Spanish, stumbled out of my mouth with a Spanish accent. To the bewilderment of my friends, I write out lists of Spanish verbs for fun. Simply put, Spanish consumed my life. Spending my evenings in the hospital, I watched as the abscess paralyzed the left fingers she had intertwined with mine, weaken the legs she had ran marathons with, and constrained my shopping partner to a hospital bed.

For a month, I was sullen, the world whisking around me, while I ached with pain of the possibility of losing my mother.

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I used my love of Spanish to ease the pain. The phrase, el pollo es mi comida favorita, a skipping track, prevented me from thinking about the situation, while conjugating verbs into different tenses restrained the shakiness of my voice and the tears forming in my eyes. Whereas before counting to ten bored me, I now counted to to coax my fingers from trembling.

Sitting beside my ailing mother, I struggled for the right words in English, but knew them all in Spanish.

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