How to Write the University of Georgia Essays 2021-2022
So you have decided to apply to the University of Georgia, where the only thing hotter than your ardor for the Georgia Bulldogs will be your animus toward the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Georgia summer heat.
While the school is known for football, its campus boasts a wide array of pre-professional career tracks into any one of its specialized colleges, such as the Terry College of Business, the College of Veterinary Medicine, or the School of Social Work. Whichever field of study you end up choosing, you’ll get all the excitement that comes from going to a large research university with almost 30,000 other undergraduates.
UGA admitted about 13,700 new undergraduates last admissions cycle. Because the university is a large public institution, it gives more weight to test scores and GPA than smaller private institutions. The SAT scores for the middle 50% of the Class of 2025 was 1310-1460, and middle 50% ACT scores were 30-34. Want to know your chances at the University of Georgia? Calculate them for free right now.
The Honors College is much more selective, with middle 50% ACT scores of 33-36 and middle 50% SAT scores of 1480-1540.
That being said, a good essay will help stand out, and much of the advice we’ll offer below will apply to the admissions essays you may be writing for other colleges.
Want to learn what UGA will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering the University of Georgia needs to know.
University of Georgia Supplemental Essay Prompt
The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself from your high school years that you have not already shared in your application (200-350 words)
This prompt may have given you a bit of a double-take. What? An anti-essay? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about our personal growth, aspirations for the future, and intellectual passions? Don’t worry; the admissions committee isn’t trying to trick you here. They really do want to hear an engaging story from your life.
While this may not necessarily be the essay in which you talk about your esoteric aspirations to become an aerospace engineer or your lifelong love of philosophy, it’s still a chance for you to flex your writing and storytelling skills and to showcase your personality. So, think about the stories you may tell as icebreakers or at parties. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a funny story (and if you aren’t a comedian please don’t try to make your essay funny) and avoid stories that you wouldn’t want your grandma to know about.
When you’re trying to write an interesting story, you must make every word count. There’s no room for unnecessarily lengthy descriptions. If you’ve read a mystery or adventure novel, you know that their fast-paced nature keeps them engaging. Avoid the passive tense and use verbs effectively and adjectives sparingly.
For starters, let’s look to UGA’s admissions blog for a strong a sample answer to this question:
“‘Oh no, what have I done?’ explained my facial expression after an unbelievable event happened years ago. The scene took place in my backyard. One day my neighbors left the house and their two dogs, Peanut and Lucky, to go to the store. They gave me permission to play with the dogs, but specifically told me to keep a close watch. I usually play with Lucky, the bigger one, because he was more aware of his surroundings and did not bark as much, but this time I decided to take Peanut. While we were outside, a huge hawk came flying by, but I didn’t think much of it. I remember walking inside the house and returning to see the hawk flying away with Peanut in his claws. I didn’t know what to do because I knew my neighbors would be home any minute. Shortly afterwards, I saw the hawk sitting in the tree, but Peanut was nowhere in sight, and that’s when I really began to panic. I went next door with intentions to confess until I saw Peanut sitting on the porch. To this day, I am the only one who knows that Peanut was almost eaten alive.”
It may seem a little strange, so let’s start by explaining why UGA’s admissions officers might have thought it was a good essay.
After reading this essay, you might have thought, “What? That is a college admissions essay? As stories go, this may be entertaining, but does it really fit the genre of the college admissions essay?”
We’d like to point out that it does one thing quite well: It makes for pleasant conversation. In your future careers, as you continue to meet new people in new places, it can be useful to have a few entertaining and uncontroversial anecdotes to tell. In most social contexts, when you are introducing yourself, you do not start out sharing your deepest secrets. Instead, you offer something light: a story about your cat, or something cute your niece did, or an interesting bug that appeared on your window.
The social benefit of these “small talk” stories lies precisely in their lack of hard-hitting content; they give people room to be comfortable in each other’s company.
Take the prompt at its word when it tries to sympathize with how stressful the admissions process can be. The prompt is trying to get you to do something other than talk about the activities and test scores that the admissions officers can already see in other parts of your application.
If you would still prefer to write about something of substance, don’t worry! You don’t necessarily have to tell an amusing story, and “interesting” is a wide-spanning word.
For example, you may write upon the time you came across new and interesting information which changed your life somehow, perhaps via a quote you came across or advice you were given by a coach or teacher.
Perhaps, in your readings, you came across Oscar Wilde’s quip, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” You could write about how, on one level, you disagree with this quote: Stretching your paycheck to make ends meet might require some very imaginative budgetary thinking.
If you go down this route, the most important thing to do would be to detail your thought processes, explaining the impact this new information had on you, so long as it circles back to a point of interest or amusement. Perhaps this new insight urged you to see life in a different way, or maybe it sparked a period of change and self-discovery. Be careful to not make it an essay of fully self-reflection, however! Your essay should still be narrative and read like a story with a classic beginning, middle, and end.
Similarly, you could write a time you nursed a baby bird back to health, or went on a life-changing trip with friends, or went vegan for a week, or had a meaningful conversation with a stranger on an airplane. Some students don’t think they or their lives are very interesting, but we assure you there is an engaging anecdote to be found in every life, especially if conveyed through effective storytelling! Additionally, you can bring meaning into any story if you write with depth. For example, the baby bird story may have impacted you by showing you the value of compassion and your ability to help out the “little guy.”
Whether going deep or shallow, try to have fun with this essay. (Though we know that in spite of the admission committee’s best intentions, sometimes nothing can be more anxiety-inducing than the instruction to enjoy.)
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