Essay Analysis: Princeton University 2018-19

Admissionado's detailed take on this year's Princeton University application essays

“Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you.”

Suppose you start by listing out ALL your extracurricular activities or work experiences. Just list em. Here are two interesting ways to play this:

Option 1 – “When you look at my profile at a glance, you’d probably guess that the most MEANINGFUL of these activities was Activity/Experience “C” and that would be a fine guess! And don’t get me wrong, I do love that one for all the reasons you’d expect. But, honestly? The most MEANINGFUL one of those is actually “E” … (gasp). Surprised? Reasonable. Well, lemme explain why…”

Option 2 – “When you look at my profile at a glance, you’d probably guess that the most MEANINGFUL of these activities was Activity/Experience “C” and that would be a fine guess! In fact… you are CORRECT. But… it’s meaningful to me NOT for the reason you may THINK it is………..”

Why do we like either of those options? Because when our natural instincts and assumptions are checked, we take notice. And as an applicant, trying to get the attention of a reader who is reading thousands of similar-looking responses, this is a really good thing.

Read more about how to grab the adcom’s attention in our 2018-19 Princeton University Essay Analysis.

Leave a Reply

Essay Analysis: Harvard College 2018-19