2 Terrific Texas A&M Essay Examples by an Accepted Student
Founded in 1876, Texas A&M University has the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher education in Texas. Texas A&M has grown considerably since its founding as an Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) college—today, it’s home to 17 academic colleges and offers more than 130 undergraduate degrees.
Texas A&M’s wide range of academic offerings, and national reputation as an athletic powerhouse thanks to their success in the Southeastern Conference, makes it desirable to many applicants. To help yourself stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to make sure your essays are as strong as possible. Here, we’ll provide you with two examples of essays submitted by a student who was eventually accepted to Texas A&M, to give you a clearer sense of what admissions officers are looking for.
Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized.
Read our Texas A&M University essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.
Essay Example 1 – Success in College
“How much are you looking to make.” This was the question I had feared; a wrong answer could’ve meant I wasn’t ready for the job, and I’d look like a fool, but if I answered wrong for myself, I’d be stuck knowing I could’ve asked for more.
Walking into my first job ever, I had immediately begun to shake; it had hit; this had been my first ever job interview, and the person I was about to meet would decide how my summer would go. I shook hands, sat down, and introduced myself. After a couple of questions, I was offered the position, but then that million-dollar question came. I had gone over this question several times during the car ride here. After an extensive debate with myself, I decided it wouldn’t look good if I were to shoot too high, but I also did not want to undervalue myself. I wanted to get the job; I said a number I thought was fair, making sure not to shoot ‘too’ high.
“We start everyone at the same pay.” It turns out I underestimated myself; I had told him something I thought he’d want to hear for the sake of the position. I learned not to underestimate or doubt myself, to always believe in myself, and reach for whatever I dreamed of. Now in life, I always try to achieve the highest level and believe in myself, never selling myself short and always having faith in my capability.
What the Essay Did Well
The author does a great job of centering their essay around a down-to-earth anecdote which still contains a life lesson that directly relates to their future success as a college student. With this prompt, many students will likely write about awards and achievements, but by choosing a more “ordinary” moment, the student shows that they have the ability to reflect on and learn from daily life as well.
As a quick aside, with that being said, you want to be authentic in your college essays. If you’re brainstorming for this prompt, or a similar one, and you feel your strongest response would be about an award or achievement, that’s completely fine! We just want to highlight that sometimes, writing about something less stereotypically impressive can be an incredibly effective way of humanizing yourself for admissions officers.
Another strength of this essay is the author’s personal, conversational writing style, which allows us to step into their shoes and imagine the situation as if we were there. By describing their thoughts and feelings with lines like “I immediately began to shake” and “then that million-dollar question came,” the writer keeps us invested in their story.
Finally, the student also does a great job of both telling a complete story and leaving enough space to reflect on their experience. That reflection leads to clear takeaway lessons which they explicitly connect to the prompt, so there’s no risk of the admissions officer finishing the essay wondering what the point was.
What Could Be Improved
One small change this student could make is in the final paragraph, where they reflect on how they “learned not to underestimate or doubt [themself], to always believe in [themself], and reach for whatever [they] dreamed of.” While the first lesson, to not underestimate themself, is a logical takeaway from the experience, the next two feel tangentially related at best.
The lack of a clear connection makes the end of the essay feel a little too much like a Hallmark Card. Since readers don’t have anything to anchor the second and third lessons to, they seem generic, when the whole point of the college essay is to set yourself apart. While you do want to maximize the limited space given to you in college essays, this is an example of a place where less is more.
Essay Example 2 – A Teacher’s Impact
Walking into my first class of senior year, Securities and Investments, I thought, “Just another class with just another basic teacher.” Mr. Anderson was standing outside the classroom, I walked in and saw no one, I knew no one. All of my friends were in separate classes, it was just me.
He started the class immediately after the bell rang by telling us, “Ok, class, let’s go outside.” Instead of just doing a regular old lecture, Mr. Anderson teaches outside and around the school. I was immediately hooked: to me, a class where I didn’t have to sit in a rock-hard chair for 90 minutes every other day seemed thrilling. However, it wasn’t just the outdoors that intrigued me, but the content: investments we can make throughout our lives, and how to benefit from the stock market. I was attached; I was drawn to business; I was drawn to the financial aspects, technological aspects, all the aspects of a business. Finally, a class that I yearn to be in, a class about the inner workings of the stock market and business.
Mr. Anderson taught me to keep an open mind when doing anything new, from joining a new class to researching a stock. That mindset has led me to new opportunities, such as volunteering for Wells International Foundation to create clubs. Now, whenever I’m feeling apprehensive about something new, I remember how much I ended up loving Mr. Anderson’s class, and do my best to change my apprehension into anticipation.
What the Essay Did Well
This essay’s greatest strength is that the writer has chosen someone who has clearly made a genuine impact on their life. While that may seem like a strange thing to highlight, since that’s the whole point of the prompt, a pitfall some students fall into is trying to impress the admissions officers by choosing someone famous, or a historical figure, who hasn’t actually been that important for their growth.
But for this prompt, who you choose doesn’t matter–what does is that you can articulate why they’ve been influential in your life, which this student does an excellent job of. The overall lesson of keeping an open mind clearly follows from the student’s description of Mr. Anderson’s unconventional teaching style, and also connects to another aspect of the student’s life (their work with Wells International Foundation).
Additionally, in the first two paragraphs the author builds a personal connection with their readers by letting us in on their thoughts and feelings in real time, through lines like “a class where I didn’t have to sit in a rocking chair” and “finally, a class that I yearn to be in.” This open, honest tone helps us better understand just how impactful the student’s experiences with their teacher were.
What Could Be Improved
While the student clearly lays out the bigger picture lesson they learned from Mr. Anderson in the final paragraph, the first two paragraphs lack detail about how his actions, or personality, helped them learn that lesson. Talking about the outdoor class is a great start, but that’s just one example, and this prompt is asking about “the person who has most impacted your life.”
The student hints at Mr. Anderson helping them engage with topics they initially didn’t find interesting, but in the college essay, hinting isn’t enough–remember, your readers are complete strangers, so they don’t have any background context to fall back on if they don’t fully understand something. The essay would be much stronger with a concrete example of a time Mr. Anderson helped motivate the student academically, like:
“Before I was taught by Mr. Anderson, ‘investments’ was just a word I heard my dad occasionally say while reading the newspaper. I had never cared to learn more, but that disinterest died the day Mr. Anderson put us into teams and had us try to invest responsibly even as he rolled a die to trigger random misfortunes or windfalls.”
This anecdote provides readers with the detail we need to understand how Mr. Anderson specifically encouraged this student’s budding interest in business and finance, which is the connection that’s missing in the original essay.
Where to Get Feedback on Your Essay
Want feedback like this on your Texas A&M essay before you submit? We offer expert essay review by advisors who have helped students get into their dream schools. You can book a review with one of our experts to receive notes on your topic, grammar, and essay structure to make your essay stand out to admissions officers.
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