When I applied to Tufts, I indicated that biology and chemistry were my intended majors. Fast forward a few years, and I graduated with one major in psychology and another in English. Couldn’t be much different right? I had always loved to read for fun (and still do!) but for some reason, I never considered English as a possible major. Looking back, I attribute my decision to pursue an English major to a required class, generically called English II. Through taking this class, I discovered that I love learning about people and their stories, as well as their motivations and intentions (which is probably why I decided to pursue a degree in psychology as well). Currently, the reason I fell in love with my English major is the same reason why I enjoy reading applications- I get to learn about who you are and the story you have to tell.
We, as admissions officers, can’t learn much about who you actually are through your grades or standardized test scores, but we sure learn a whole lot from your essays, whether that is the personal statement or supplement. Now that I have had the chance to read some applications and participate in committee for the first time, I can reflect on what makes me particularly enjoy reading an essay. And when I say enjoy an essay, I mean the type of essay that makes me turn to my co-workers and tell them about how interesting/funny/brave/honest or (insert another positive and overly enthusiastic adjective) the applicant is. Whether you are just starting your application, or in the final editing states, here are a couple of insights on essays that have stood out to me!
While we know that writing college essays may not be the most enjoyable thing in the world, we hope that our supplement questions give you the chance to be yourself, and even have a bit of fun. Happy writing!