The Common Application has announced the essay topics for the 2013-2014 application year. Here is a list of the topics:
• 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.
• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
• Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
• Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
• Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
The maximum length of this essay is 650 words and the minimum length is 250 words.
You may not have time right now to work on this essay but I strongly recommend you start thinking about what you might want to write an essay about if you will be applying this coming fall. It doesn’t sound that hard to write something like this but to do it well, it can take some time.
The other thing of note is that the activity essay which has been part of the common application for a number of years will no longer be used as part of the common application itself. Some colleges may still use it as one of their supplemental essays but you may get by writing one less essay.