This is where the "tell us about yourself" part comes in. What does your defining trait say about you as a person? And how does it fit into your overall personality, values, and dreams? Only deep in the woods could she explore her one true passion: moss. It's essential that this essay communicate genuine passion for whatever you write about. College is a lot of work, and passion is an important driving force when things get busy. Thus, readers are looking for students who are really engaged in the world around them and excited about things!
A strong, well-developed sense of self goes a long way toward helping you weather all the changes you're going to experience when you attend college. Even though you'll change and grow a lot as a person during your college years, having a sense of your own core traits and values will help those changes be exciting as opposed to scary. Colleges are looking for a developed sense of self. Additionally, they are looking for students who can communicate messages about themselves in a clear, confident, and cohesive way.
The challenge with this prompt is giving a complete picture of you as a person while still staying on message about your defining trait. You need to be focused yet comprehensive. Let's explore the best ways to show off your passion and frame your identity. First, you need to select that defining trait.
This could be pretty much anything, just as long as you're genuinely invested in this trait and feel that it represents some core aspect of you. It should also be something you can describe through stories and anecdotes. Just saying, "I'm a redhead and that defines me" makes for a pretty boring essay! On the other hand, a story about how you started a photography project that consists of portraits of redheads like you and what you learned about yourself from this experience is much more interesting.
Be careful to select something that presents you in a broadly positive light. If you select a trait that doesn't seem very serious, such as your enduring and eternal love of onion rings, you risk seeming at best immature and at worst outright disrespectful.
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You also want to pick something realistic —don't claim you're the greatest mathematician who ever lived unless you are, in fact, the greatest mathematician who ever lived and you probably aren't. Otherwise, you'll seem out of touch. Next, consider how you can use this trait to paint a more complete picture of you as a person. It's great that you're passionate about skiing and are a member of a ski team, but what else does this say about you?
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Are you an adventurous daredevil who loves to take reasonable risks? Are you a nature lover with a taste for exploration? Do you love being part of a team? Select at least two or three positive messages you want to communicate about yourself in your essay about your key trait. Brody added his special brand of XYZ to everything he ever made for that bro-tisanal touch. It's much more interesting to read about things you do that demonstrate your key traits than it is to hear you list them. Don't just say, "Everyone asks me for advice because I'm level-headed and reasonable.
It's important to watch your tone as you write an essay that's pretty overtly about how great you are. You want to show your own special qualities without seeming glib, staid, self-aggrandizing, or narcissistic. Alternatively, he could describe doing research on the complex gardens of royal palaces, planning his garden based on plant color and height, using the process of trial and error to see which plants would flourish, and getting so involved with this work that he often lost track of time.
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One of these approaches makes him sound whiny and self-centered, while the other makes him sound like someone who can take charge of a difficult situation. Are you a diamond in a world of hearts? One approach to this prompt is to use your essay as a chance to describe your long-term goals for your career and life. For some students, this will be a straightforward endeavor.
You could easily frame your "ticket" as a ticket to medical school. Just pick a few of the most gripping moments from these past experiences and discuss the overall trajectory of your interests and your essay would likely be a winner!
Or what if you feel like you really don't know where you're going next week, let alone next year or 10 years from now? Read on for Option 2! While you can certainly interpret this as a straightforward question about your future, you can also use it as a chance to be more imaginative. Note that this entire question rests on the metaphor of the ticket.
The ticket can be to anywhere; you decide. It could be to a real place, such as your grandmother's house or the Scottish highlands or the Metropolitan Museum. Or it could be somewhere fantastical, such as a time machine to the Paleolithic. The important point is that you use the destination you select—and what you plan to do there—to prove you're a thoughtful person who is excited about and actively engaged with the world around you. If you're on a direct path to a specific field of study or career, admissions officers definitely want to know this. Having driven, goal-oriented, and passionate students is a huge plus for any college.
If you take the more creative approach to this prompt, however, realize that in this essay as in all the other ApplyTexas essays the how matters much more than the what. Don't worry that you don't have a specific goal in mind yet. No matter where your eventual academic, career, or other pursuits might lie, every activity you've done up to now has taught you something, whether that be work ethic, mastering a skill, learning from a mentor, interacting with peers, dealing with setbacks, understanding your own learning style, or perseverance.
Your essay is a chance to show off that knowledge and maturity. So no matter what destination you choose for your ticket the what , you want to communicate that you can think about future and imagined! Whether you take the ideas of "where you are going" and "what you are doing" in a more literal or more abstract direction, the admissions committee wants to make sure that no matter what you study, you'll be able to get something meaningful out of it. Here are some ideas for how to show that you have thoughtful and compelling visions of possible futures. Is this going to be a more direct interpretation of your goals my ticket is to the judge's bench or a more creative one my ticket is to Narnia?
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Whichever one you choose, make sure that you choose a destination that is genuinely compelling to you. The last thing you want is to come off sounding bored or disingenuous. Another key point is to avoid overreaching or underreaching. At the same time, make sure the destination you've chosen is one that makes sense in the context of a college essay. Maybe what you really want is a ticket to the potato chip factory; however, this essay might not be the best place to elaborate on this imagined possibility.
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While you can of course choose a whimsical location, you need to be able to ground it in a real vision of the kind of person you want to become. Don't forget who your audience is! College admissions officers want to find students who are eager to learn.
They also want to be exposed to new thoughts and ideas and not just new potato chips. Once you've picked a destination, it's time to consider the other components of the question: what are you going to do once you reach your destination? What will happen there?
Try to think of some key messages that relate back to you, your talents, and your goals. The way this question is framed is very abstract, so it's important you ground your thoughts about your destination whether it's more straightforward or more creative in concrete anecdotes and examples that show you're thoughtful, engaged, passionate, and driven. This is even more important if you go the creative route and are writing about an unusual location. If you don't keep things somewhat grounded in reality, your essay could come across as frivolous.
Make sure you make the most of this chance to share real-life examples of your desirable qualities.
Which essay below conveys more about her potential as a student? My ticket is to Starfleet Academy. There, I would train to become part of the Command division so I could command a starship. Once I was captain of my own starship, I would explore the deepest reaches of space to interact with alien life and learn more about the universe. So if I could have a ticket to anywhere, it would be to Starfleet Academy to train in the command division.
I know I would make a superb command officer.