This is the final installment in a series of posts I’m doing about the Common Application essay prompts. Now that summer is here, it’s a great time to work on your essay so that you can take your time, let your mind wander and put together something that truly compliments your applications.
I’ve already talked about the first four essay prompts and what they’re asking you to do. If you missed them, here they are:
Today, I wanted to talk about the fifth and final prompt:
Prompt #5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
This prompt allows you a lot of flexibility because the keywords are so broad. Having said that, it’s the transition part of this prompt that is important here. Transition means there was a before (the childhood piece) and an after (the adult piece). There was a change. Without it, your essay will not fully answer what this prompt is asking of you and will fall flat.
Because while we’ve all had accomplishments, not each of them has helped us to think and act more like an adult. And that’s the key here: you need to show that whatever it was that you achieved, completed, performed or produced – it was an important event in your process of becoming more mature, more responsible and more dependable. It doesn’t mean you have to be an adult, just that you are on your way to being more adult-like.
Going to college is a major transition in your life and one that will rapidly draw you into adulthood as you face critical decisions about your immediate and long-term future. An admission counselor will be pleased to see that you’ve gone through other transitional phases in your life and that you are on your way to becoming the person you were meant to be.
One former student wrote about her experiences as an EMT and how, as a young teenager, she remembered getting frustrated when a car accident had caused a traffic delay and she ended up missing the first couple minutes of a new movie. Several years later, after earning her EMT license and going out on emergency calls, she was faced with life and death situations and had to think quickly and clearly in order to help injured people in need. She had most definitely transitioned from an inwardly thinking child to a more mature, outwardly thinking adult-in-the-making.
So, if you’ve ever experienced a change in your life where you realized that you were thinking or acting more adult-like, this could be a great prompt for you to explore. If not, I’ve already covered the other four essay prompts, so consider going in another direction with your essay.
If you would like some assistance with it or any other aspects of your college search, contact me today for a free 60-minute consultation.