The acting director of admissions at Bryn Mawr College reveals why you must be the subject of your essay.
Throughout this website we have stressed the importance of revealing something about yourself in your essays. Yet if this is a key strategy, why do so many students fail to do this? One reason is because often the question posed by the college asks you to write about someone or something else. How can you write about you when you are being asked to describe someone else?
According to Elizabeth Mosier, acting director of admissions at Bryn Mawr College, students need to realize that regardless of the question, they must write about themselves. “Let’s say that the question asks you to write about an influential person. You should remember that we care less about the person than their influence on you. Use the question as a starting point to tell us about you," says Mosier.
So what should you write about if not about the influential person? According to Mosier, “If you are answering a question about an influential person, focus on why you look at this person as someone significant. Whenever you’re answering these kinds of questions, whether it’s a story or character portrait, try to give us a glimpse of who you are, your voice and quality of thinking. After all, we are trying to assess what you’ll be like as a student on our campus."
When you get a question that seems to ask you to write about something or someone else, be sure to include as much about you as the subject you are outwardly writing about. Remember that colleges ultimately want to learn about you.