College Confusion Clarified #1

Hello fellow high schoolers, middle schoolers and late bloomers alike,

I’m here with a new series for y’all called: College Confusion Clarified (As you may have notice)

I’m here to help you, help yourself through the most confusing time ever. Whether you are in the time crunch of getting those app’s in by January (which is right around the corner so message me with any immediate help! info will be at the end!) or you still have some time, this series is for you!

Not to toot my own horn,  but I’m 4 for 4 in the application process! I’ve been accepted into Le Moyne, Saint Joseph’s, Fairfield and Mercyhurst, all with scholarships! *END BRAG SHESH*

This first post is going to be about the essay. The dreaded common app essay.

If you can, you will want to get it done as early as possible. But if you are anything like me, or any teenager for that matter, it doesn’t always happen. Here is a little time line for you:

Early Action Application Submission:

start your essay and common app information OVER THE SUMMER.

Start date: AUGUST 15th 

Early action/decision deadline: NOVEMBER 1ST

Regular Decision Application Submission: 

start you essay & information NO LATER than: NOVEMBER 1ST

Deadline: January-March

You wouldn’t believe how fast time goes with the holidays and such.

SO back to the essay.

The common app will give you 5 prompts. read them ALL. find which one speaks to you. It’s cheesy but you’re going to spend an obscene amount of time with this prompt and response and you’re going to want to really feel passionate about what you’re talking about.

Here are the prompts that were launched August 1st 2013. They are almost the same as the previous years so it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about these, they could very well be next years prompts.

Option #1: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Fot this one, this “Identity”. What are your values? What do you live by? Why?

Option #2: Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

This may be tough to talk about, but go out on a whim. Show the college, if applicable, *here is what happened* and *this is why I’m a better person because of it*

Option #3: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

This is very open ended and honesty is the best policy with these essays. Don’t be afraid to speak about your religion, beliefs, ect. and why they are so important to you.

Option #4: Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

This is also very open ended and can give the admissions counselors the ability to really get to know you and what you value and that can go a LONG way.

Option #5: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

This can be a great essay, or a deal breaker. You want the admissions people to love what you do, but don’t toot your horn too much. Avoid the “hero” aspect, it can make you sound shallow.


So now that your wheels are turning in your head, go crazy with writing. Draft after draft after draft. Don’t be afraid to write something and scrap it completely because some of the best inspiration can come from your mistakes. I know that happened for me!

You will write a hundred versions of the same paper in a million different ways but I promise it will all work out.

Some of the best people to ask for advice and revisions include:

  • Teachers (specifically English teachers or any that you are close with)
  • Parents/ family members
  • Counselors
  • College Counselors


That’s all I can think of regarding the common app essay. Just remember, start early, be honest and revise revise revise. 

I wish you all the luck, leave your questions in the comments or contact me at:

kik: sammii06

facebook: sammi spallina







One thought on “College Confusion Clarified #1

  1. Reblogged this on whatiknownoww and commented:
    What you should know about the college application process! I’ve been through this too many times to count over the past few years & this post shares some great tips! I may add though: set all your personal social media to private. Admissions doesn’t need to know about the two wine coolers you chugged last weekend that got you “soooooooo wastedddddd.”


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