Writing the essay for a college application can be one of the more dreaded parts of the application process for students.
Admission officers are painfully aware of that fact, and we answer many questions about the role and purpose of the essay: "How much does it count?", "What should I write about?" and "How do I know if an experience is 'significant' or not?" are common queries. Writer's block often arises as you worry about offering a pithy snapshot of your life and academic prowess in three typewritten pages or less.
The admission staff at Connecticut College has compiled a collection of outstanding essays to help you approach your own personal statement with confidence and excitement. Through the range of responses these students took, you will see that the essay - as a sample of writing and a reflection of your interests and values - can take many forms. While there is not any "right" or "wrong" topic, some approaches offer a bit more creativity and fluency than others. The samples we have selected reflect this idea.
New for 2013, we also offered the opportunity to hear directly from students about their writing process. Tune in to our DIY: Your College Search series online, as our admission counselor talks with past "essays that worked" writers who shared their personal essay-writing experiences.
Each of these chosen essayists was offered admission to Connecticut College, and each matriculated at the College. The writing samples they submitted often played an important role in obtaining the coveted acceptance letter.
Your college essay provides a wonderful opportunity to share your thoughts with the Admission Committee and to let us see another side of you. Enjoy the experience. Remember that we look forward to reading your work and getting to know you a little bit better. Good luck as you face the computer screen!
Martha Merrill '84
Dean of Admission and Financial