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Harvard encourages its students to be well-rounded and driven, ready to take on a rapidly changing globe.
To give admissions officers a well-rounded, authentic picture of you, use this essay to highlight new attributes about yourself, different from those highlighted in your Common Application Essay.
This helps readers better picture you on their campus, which is always a plus.
For this prompt, be specific in terms of how your experience changed your outlook.
For example, if you choose to write about how you moved 13 times over the past 17 years, don’t just plainly state that changing residencies repeatedly throughout high school changed many aspects of your life.
It is important to note that the goal of this essay should not be to gain sympathy in the form of an acceptance letter.
While you are definitely allowed to tell a sad story in your essay, the main takeaway from your writing should be your personal strengths and qualities.Another example of a 180 is one in which your Activities List is full of leadership positions (perhaps you are heavily involved in MUN or debate), but your essay illuminates your insecurities with getting up in front of a room full of people or managing others — this can be a candid way to humanize yourself for readers.Ultimately, the goal is to add unexpected depth to an application that otherwise “makes sense.” If your app makes too much sense, it will be harder to remember than if your app raises eyebrows and causes adcoms to say, “Huh, that’s pretty cool.” way to distinguish yourself.Express and focus on what shifted in your relationships, perspective, and family life as a result of your nomadic lifestyle, and share anecdotes to show what changed.Details are key — the more you can include, the more your essay will come to life.Each year, students are confused by Harvard’s assertion that its essay is optional.To clear the air, at College Vine, we advise our students to take every opportunity available to showcase themselves on their applications.If you don’t have a prospective concentration yet (remember, Harvard students have “concentrations” and not “majors”), you should still explore your potential interests when researching the university.If the research points you gather align with your essay topic, feel free to mention them, and, more importantly, demonstrate why they fit you!A few key points to think about when writing this essay (considering it’s for Harvard).First, the school tends to value community involvement/passion development over pure academic success.