Topics to avoid fall into the following categories:


  1. Reiterating what is on your resume, activities list,
    honors section or elsewhere in your application
  2. Volunteer experiences that were not long-term commitments (If you just volunteered once-a-year,it will be listed in your activities; however, if a moreimpactful volunteer experience was instrumental in your personal growth, then it is worth writing about how it changed you.)
  3. Anything that many other students could be writingabout (Be unique!)
  4. Anything that happened before high school unless it briefly sets up your story (They want to know who you are now, not who you were then.)
  5. How popular you are (Your party-animal status willnot go over well with the selection committee.)
  6. Other people (Remember that they want to get toknow you. Of course, you will mention other people, but the focus of the essay is for the admissions officers to learn more about you.)
  7. Sports and trips unless there is a unique lesson learned or a significant experience that impacted your personal growth

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