College Essays

Common Application

Prompt:

It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

 

Essay:

The connection between fashion and just about anything else going on in the world fascinates me. Generally, fashion trends are not taken seriously as they should be. Pull anyone off the street and they’ll tell you the importance of preserving another home where George Washington might have slept, yet disregard a picture of Britney Spears sporting a yellow patterned head scarf, an “I <3 Punk” tank top, low rise jeans, and a silver statement belt. But that candid photo would reveal as much about the 2000s as Washington’s wooden teeth would about the late 1700s.
The surge in popularity of “all-American” pieces like fringe, cowboy boots, and American flags—as well as the chunky belt and denim sported by Spears​​—came as a direct consequence of rising patriotism following the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
The nationalistic feelings of the public were reflected through all aspects of pop culture, including fashion.
Political events, economic conditions, and prominent people influence fashion just as much as they dictate literature and art. Though it is often perceived as frivolous by more myopic members of society, fashion stimulates my curiosity about topics I generally wouldn’t pursue. Analyzing specific trends—such as the fluctuating height of heels to modesty standards—provides a unique lens into history through which I can gain a more nuanced understanding of our world. And more importantly, it’s exciting and unique. Fashion not only provides me a creative personal outlet, but offers me a realm of intellectual possibilities to explore through a medium I love.

 

Tips for Writing:

The first college essay I drafted was my Common App essay. It took me a while to start writing, because I spent an eternity overthinking which topic I should write about. I ended up making a list of experiences or skills that I felt were relevant to my life as a student, and then as a person (they were different for me, but they may not be for other people!). The first list was mostly things on my activities list, but the second had more specific topics that I felt highlighted my personality. This list was probably the most helpful thing to my process when I started supplementals, because I could easily connect prompts to things that were important to me. They also made writing easier, because I was genuinely passionate and interested in the subjects. Based on my experience, I have 2 important tips: Don’t be afraid to start writing! Even if you don’t think what you’re writing about fits for a specific prompt, you’ll probably be able to reuse it/Frankenstein it to fit a different one later. More importantly, don’t be afraid to unapologetically be yourself. You’re not just trying to sell the student, but the person as well!

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