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If you take apart the essay sentence by sentence, you'll notice a huge variety in sentence length and structure.The admissions officers will immediately recognize Carrie as someone who has a mastery of language and is prepared for college-level writing.But when I receive college brochures picturing smiling, clean-cut teens dressed in the latest from Abercrombie & Fitch and lounging on a blanket in the sun, I think, Simply put, I am a Goth. Diversity might be considered in terms of economic or geographical background, life experiences, religion, sexual orientation, and even personal interests and general outlook.
Let me be direct: in some ways, I am the antithesis of what one might picture as a student who contributes to campus diversity.
I am white, middle-class, and heterosexual; I have no physical handicaps or mental challenges apart from a tendency towards sarcasm. My hair, naturally the same sandy blonde that the rest of my family shares, is dyed jet, sometimes highlighted in streaks of purple or scarlet. If I were inserted into those brochure photographs of typical college students, I would look like a vampire stalking her wholesome prey. Diversity goes beyond the physical; race or ethnicity might be the first things one thinks of, but really, it is a question of what makes someone the person that he or she is.
When I sat down to write this essay, I tried, as my high school English teacher always instructed, to imagine the audience for my writing.
The more I thought about it, the more I pitied the college admissions screeners who would be reading a thousand essays on diversity.
In broader terms, however, all college admissions essays must accomplish a specific task: the admissions folks will be looking not just for good writing skills, but also evidence that the writer has the intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness, and strength of character necessary to be a contributing and successful member of the campus community. Also, the allusion to John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" is appropriate given the song's message about acceptance and understanding.
It's not a title that is highly original, and it isn't the best hook for grabbing the reader's attention, but it is still a solid title.Carrie clearly shows how she will add an interesting and desirable element to the campus community.The essay demonstrates that she has thought about identity and diversity, that she is open-minded, and that she has a thing or two to teach others about their preconceptions and biases.Being Goth isn’t just about physical appearance; it’s a way of life that includes not only individual tastes in music, literature, and popular culture, but also particular beliefs about philosophy, spirituality, and a range of other human issues.To give just one example, I am planning to major in Environmental Studies, and while it might seem odd to picture a ghoulishly-dressed girl who adores the natural world, it was my Goth outlook that led me to this academic interest.An essay on one's love of crafts to one's non-traditional home situation can all work with Common Application option #1.Carrie's essay approaches her topic seriously, but it also has a pleasing smattering of humor.The best essay titles often strive for clarity, not cleverness. When you read advice about college admissions interviews, you'll often be told to dress somewhat conservatively, get rid of the pink hair and remove all but the most innocuous piercings.The danger of looking too far out of the norm is that you may encounter an admissions officer who isn't open-minded or who feels disturbed or uncomfortable with your appearance.Along with the expected takes on race and ethnicity, how many of those essays would present their authors as outcasts, loners, kids who didn’t fit in at his or her school?How could I present myself as someone unique and interesting — strange, even — without falling prey to the cliché of the self-pitying social misfit?