darHello! My name is Dar Nwaudo and I am a current sophomore in Kirkland House studying Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. Before coming to school in Massachusetts, I grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota where I went to a large, public school. At Harvard, I am a member of the club basketball team, a certified EMT and an HSA tutor.

I vividly remember the summer after my junior year when I all my parents talked to me about was applying for college. Me, being a typical teenager, wanted nothing to do with college applications and just wanted to enjoy the warm weather with my friends, but I internally knew that my parents were right. I made my Common App account and started to fill out the preliminary information about myself: name, grades, test scores, etc. When it got to the essay part of the application, I read through the prompts, came up with some ideas, and then didn’t think about it again for the rest of the summer. I later found out that that was a mistake because September came, school started, and so did football practices and homework assignments. At that point I had to fit applying to college in between all the hassles of everyday life. After reading through the prompts over and over again, one of them finally stuck out to me and I knew what to write. The prompt was perfect because it gave me the opportunity to tell a little story about my life and events that have molded me into who I was.

The Common App Essay is a crucial piece of the application process. It gives you the chance to let the admissions officers get to know who you really are and more than just your grades, tests scores, and activities. For this reason START EARLY. Get your thoughts on paper and have other people help you revise the essay as many times as possible. The essay is too important for you to throw it together at the last moment. Also MAKE IT PERSONAL. Try to get whoever reads your essay to make a connection with you and understand who you are as a person. Remember, you are more than just numbers on paper or extracurricular activities and your essay is your chance to prove it.

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