Your unique perspective +

In their supplement Colgate ask the following: We honor the many different forms of diversity in our community. Your perspective is valuable because it comes from your life experiences, family background, and culture. Please tell us about yourself and what you believe is the best way to share your perspective.
Also, what do you hope to learn from the experiences of others?

One of you wrote to me that it’s a question about what makes you different from the others. It’s true, but it’s essential to figure out who “the others” are. Too many students believe that “the others” are their current classmates, so they start comparing themselves to their classmates. Too often, in order to impress colleges, my students start telling bad thing about their classmates. That’s a mistake because:

1. You sound arrogant and self-righteous. You might have all the reasons to feel that your classmates are not as good as you are, but that is not something to be proud of. You might feel proud if, for example, you have tried hard to help them become as good as you are.

2. Colleges are interested in college applicants, not in college applicants’ classmates. An essay is an opportunity to share something about YOURSELF. Talking about your classmates in most often useless … at best. Of course, it is OK if your teachers compare you to your classmates – colleges actually ask them to do that.

Colleges are interested in how you compare against the rest of the applicant pool, but you are not the one who is capable of making the comparison because you don’t know the other applicants, so you don’t need to be involved in any kind of comparison making. What you have to do is explore yourself, take out the best and show it to colleges 🙂

The other part of the essay prompt asks for your elaboration on HOW you plan to enrich the college community with your unique presence there. Think of all possible aspects – academic and non-academic. You might wish to be very specific here and mention some specific activities offered by the college or some that you plan to create yourself.

And finally, the prompt ask you about your hopes to learn from the experiences of others. You should make sure you know where Colgate students usually come from, what they are like. Think HOW you can learn from THEM in different settings – in and out of the classroom.


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