Common App Essay Examples
Below are a number of links that provide examples of Common App essays. We hope they inspire you and help you to write your own unique essay for your college application. Please do not copy them, as this is plagiarism.
Watching the news with my parents one night, I heard a story about Japan, which included an interview with a man speaking Japanese. Suddenly entranced, I struggled to make sense of the incredible sounds tumbling out of his mouth and immediately knew that the language was a puzzle I needed to solve. Read more >
The 90-degree summer heat beat down on my shoulders, but that was the least of my problems. A six-year old boy had just disrupted a yellow jacket nest by the lake and children were getting stung left and right. If it had been any other summer I would have sat back and let an adult take care of the problem, but as the only camp counselor in the vicinity, I was suddenly the closest grown up around. Read more >
Patience has never been my strong suit, and while I have always wanted to be a healer, I could never imagine waiting to finish college and medical school before actually working with patients. So after a lifetime of hearing stories from my mom’s best friend about life in the ambulance as an emergency medical technician, I decided to jump in and sign up for my local training program last year. Read more >
While not everything in life is within our control, that doesn’t mean we should let those things hold us back from success. I have never been particularly adept at math, but always managed to do well enough with a little extra effort. That is, until I signed up for trigonometry. I managed to keep a grasp on the lessons for the first few weeks, but my understanding of the topic slowly ebbed away as the semester wore on. Read more >
A “C+” might not constitute a technical failure, but for an honors student with a constant eye on my GPA, my grade on the English group project certainly felt like an “F.” I should start from the beginning. Last year, I was excited when my English teacher announced that she was assigning a group project for our Shakespeare unit. Read more >
Sitting outside of the principal’s office, my stomach lurched and my palms felt sweaty. I wasn’t about to get in trouble; in fact, the situation was the exact opposite. I sat there waiting to report what had just happened in my history class.
90 minutes earlier, I arrived at class to discover we had a substitute teacher for the period. Admittedly, I felt a moment of relief at the thought of a less taxing lesson than usual. Some of my classmates thought the same thing, but chose to express it a little more vocally. Slamming his fist on the teacher’s desk, the substitute responded by screaming to be heard over the din of the class. Read more >
Raised in a proud, traditional Catholic family, I wasn’t sure where to turn when I began to question the Church two years ago. There was no cataclysmic event that caused me to do so; rather, some of the dogma began to feel exclusionary and overly judgmental. I just couldn’t imagine God caring about much that the Church espoused as doctrine.
The first time I voiced a challenge was in my weekly catechism class. The teacher stated that anyone who didn’t believe in God would go to hell. “What about people in Africa?” I asked. Read more >
Immigration is an enormous issue in America, with people arguing about every possible angle to the challenges facing successful policy reform. The recent ISIS attacks in Paris helped to fuel anti-refugee sentiments throughout the U.S., despite there being no evidence that accepting Syrian refugees would pose any real threat to our nation. Read more >
Many of my friends seem to be in no rush to get their driver’s license, with many of their 16th birthdays passing by without even mention of beginning to drive. I, on the other hand, viewed my driver’s license as the next step in becoming an adult. Read more >
Forget MTV’s images of spoiled girls picking out multi-thousand dollar dresses. That was not my quinceañera. Yes, many girls I know in my Mexican American community hold ostentatious events that look like they should be on the cover of a magazine. But when I celebrated my 15th birthday, it was a deeply-rooted cultural affair celebrating my transition into adulthood alongside my family and closest friends. Read more >
I would have loved to be on the high school yearbook staff, work on the school paper, run for student government, play a sport, or have enough time to devote to my studies. But my high school experience was much different. I worked twenty to thirty hours a week from the time I was fourteen to help support my family and save for college. My father died when I was ten leaving my mother with three children to support and so, as the oldest, I tried my best to help. Read more >>
I love the game of football and in sixth grade I decided I wanted to play on a team. I was sure it would be great. I picked up my equipment a few days before the first practice and strolled in thinking this would be easy. However, it was a disaster! I was out of shape, the coach yelled all the time, and I was completely unprepared. I went home devastated and refused to go back. Read more >>
I grew up tinkering with anything I could get my hands on. At a young age, I took apart radios, toasters, and other household items to learn how they worked. As I got older, I moved on to small motors and engines, and rebuilt our lawn mower. But, at fourteen, I received my greatest challenge that not only taught me how to solve some complex problems, but helped me understand what I want to do for a career. Read more >>
I am a politically disenfranchised Millennial. I want to believe that my vote matters. I want to believe that politicians are dedicated to public service and intellectualism, and the media is more than another self-interested business pushing its own agenda. However, I do not believe these things. So what is the answer? Am I forced to accept this “reality” or is there some way to make a difference? Read more >>
I have heard many of my fellow students say it would be nice to join a high school club or activity, but they frequently find an excuse for not getting involved. As a freshman, I decided that I did not want to be one of those people, but instead wanted to live my high school life to its fullest. I learned about the many options available and purposely choose four activities that were different from each other and would help me to meet a diverse group of people. Read more >>