Over the course of my years working in the admission office, there have been many applications that have come across my desk. The extracurricular activities are probably one of the favorite parts, but I am also a fan of the optional essay or submission.
The optional essay is your opportunity to show us your personality in a way that you can’t do anywhere else in your application. Some people take the opportunity to use their creative writing skills to make the committee laugh, make the committee sad, or make the committee really think about a certain topic or current issue. Regardless of the topic, I have found that this is one of my favorite parts of the application to read.
If you choose not to write another essay, you can also decide to send us a little something different. Some students choose to send us a video rap, a piece of artwork, or a life-size cut-out of themselves. Whatever you choose, make sure that it always comes back to who you are.
The optional essay or submission is really your opportunity to step outside of the application for a second and really show us your personality. Because it is one of the first things that I see in the application, it can many times set the tone for the rest of the application. Also remember that this is optional. While many students do take advantage of this opportunity, it is not something that is required in order to submit your application.
If you are struggling to come up with a submission, take a look at the YouTube version of the prompt. We describe it as show and tell by proxy but with an attitude. We hope that this will help you get started and really let us know who you are.
– Randy Tripp