UNC Chapel Hill Essay Example


UNC Chapel Hill is a pretty selective school, especially for out-of-state students, so it’s important to write strong essays to help your application stand out. In this post, we’ll share an essay a real student has submitted to UNC Chapel Hill. (Names and identifying information have been changed, but all other details are preserved).


Read our UNC Chapel Hill essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts.


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Prompt: If you could change one thing about where you live, what would it be and why? (200-250 words).


Sitting behind the loaded plates on our dinner table, I predicted my mom’s first question with 100% accuracy: “So, how did you do on the trigonometry test today?” Notorious for failing math classes, my brother paused from chewing his chicken wing. 


I knew he’d be in trouble. 


Indeed, after hearing his grade, my mom scolded: “Look at our neighbor’s kid; then look at you! She never gets anything below a 90!”


There it is again: “the neighbor’s kid,” a Chinese concept that I wish would serve a different purpose. Upon learning about their children’s unsatisfactory academic performance, Chinese parents often bring up a so-called perfect neighbor’s kid for comparison. It saddens me to see individuals raised under the shadow of “the neighbor’s kid” not able to simply enjoy exploring knowledge. They toil through years of schooling for good grades and a prestigious college’s acceptance letter at the cost of their mental well-being. Worse, some measure their self-worth by grades alone: my brother believes he’s not good enough, despite all his admirable traits outside of academics. 


Instead of “the neighbor’s kid who got a good grade” at the dinner table, I suggested my parents discuss “the neighbor’s kid who sells bracelets to raise money for charity”  or “who had a hot discussion with the teacher about whether animals have consciousness.” I look forward to a more vibrant and colorful dinner conversation, where families talk about their roses and thorns of the day, rather than a neighbor’s kid defined by numbers.


More Free Essay Resources


How to Write UNC Chapel Hill Essays: See our in-depth guide of each supplemental essay prompt for UNC Chapel Hill. 


All of Our Essay Guides: Don’t miss our essay guides for all of the top schools.


How to Write the Common App Essays: Learn how to write a strong Common App essay for each of the prompts, with examples.


Free CollegeVine Peer Essay Review: Submit your essay and get feedback from another student. Editing other students’ essays will also help you improve your own writing skills!



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