College Essays

Villanova Supplemental

Prompt (Villanova University Supplemental) 

In the Villanova community, we learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others? 


When I read Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If-” I hear my Nana’s voice as if she is right here reading it with me. Nana’s favorite poem articulates the importance of always acting with dignity when rising above adversity. This trait is meaningful to Nana as she is an immigrant from Kyiv who spent her childhood fleeing from Russian soldiers during WWII and lived in a displaced persons camp. I took these words to heart and discovered that I value giving back to others in my community because, like the people who helped my Nana at the refugee camp, I want to help others face their hardships with dignity. Throughout high school, I accumulated over 250 hours of volunteer work, supporting those in need. One experience I found rewarding was the summer I spent working for Safe+Sound Somerset, a local resource center that provides safety and support for survivors of domestic abuse. There, I helped to build a more interconnected and safer community by creating marketing materials, writing articles, and organizing a 5K race to raise awareness and advocate for the cause. My efforts helped raise much needed funds for Safe + Sound and educated members of my community. 

In addition to strengthening my innate leadership abilities, volunteering has taught me that communities thrive when every individual supports and promotes each other. My volunteer experiences have vastly widened my perspective of the world and taught me how to handle difficult situations with empathy and respect. I learned the extent to which violence affects women in this world and how it is incumbent upon individuals and organizations to enact change, so I plan on joining community groups to be a part of that action. 

Tips for Writing

Supplementals are designed for admissions to gain additional insight about who you are, so it is imperative to highlight what you are passionate about, especially if it cannot be found elsewhere in your application. My biggest piece of advice is to begin your applications early if possible. Having essays or drafts done before the school year begins allows you time to edit thoroughly, and ensure that your essays are the best they can be. Senior year gets busy, and it is important that you don’t rush to throw your essays together. It is also essential to have others read over your essays and get input from an outside perspective, like teachers or your peers. They can see what qualities are portrayed in your essays, and if your main ideas are coming through. 

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