Barrett Honors College Essay Prompts Examples

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Prompt: Barrett is composed of students from diverse backgrounds with distinctive backgrounds with distinctive life experiences. Explain how your cultural traditions (national, ethnic, religious or other facets of your background) shape your view of the world around you

            “Mazel Tov!” about 100 of my closest friends and family members sang out.  I thought, “Why couldn’t I have a normal swimming party with pizza and cake where they sang ‘Happy birthday’ to me instead?”  My religious obligations and my traditional parents had a different kind of celebration in mind.  As a 13-year-old girl, chanting my torah portion in front of a room filled with relatives, friends, and members of my congregation was not my ideal birthday wish.  I fought against it until I could not argue with my parents any longer; this was something I would have to do.  At 13 years old I did not understand the significance of this milestone in my life.  

            A Bat Mitzvah celebrates, what the Jewish religion considers the transition into adulthood, when a young girl turns 13.  As my rabbi concluded the service that I had led rather smoothly, reading every Hebrew prayer without too many flaws, I questioned whether everyone would now recognize me as an adult.  My Bebe pencil skirt and matching jacket may have given the illusion of sophistication, however, underneath it was just me, an immature, awkward girl entering a new stage in her life.  

            Traditions do not make much sense to a young adolescent.  Today, I am more mature than I was 4 years ago and have finally begun to appreciate my faith and others’ beliefs as well.  With traditions that are passed down through the generations comes a certain responsibility.  I am proud to be a part of the Jewish community and to have been able to carry out my role by participating in an ancient practice of my ancestors.  The years I spent preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, I learned the painful stories of struggle and constant persecution of the Jewish people.  From being enslaved in Egypt to the horrors of the Holocaust, there was never a safe place to freely practice Judaism.  Even today, our Holy Land of Israel is in grave danger, being threatened from all sides.  It was not always easy growing up Jewish while a large majority of my classmates and teammates were not.   However, I have realized how fortunate I am to have the ability to live in a free country, protected from hateful prejudices.  I used to shy away from what made me different, but embracing my faith has resulted in my acceptance of others and their beliefs and has exposed me to a perspective of the world greater than myself.  People of all backgrounds and faiths deserve respect despite the stereotypes that may haunt them. 

Writing an Honors College Essay

A college essay is a chance for you to tell us what all your records cannot: who you really are, how you think, and how well you write. It is not an invitation to tell a story, write a novel, or write about other people's experiences. The main point of your essay is to tell us what you have to offer and how you will take advantage of what we have to offer.

  1. Write an essay that addresses the topic specified on the application form. A general essay about yourself or an experience you had is not acceptable.
  2. Do not write your essay as if it were a novel. "The baby cried until it had to be comforted by its mother;" "I could not believe as I walked into my first class that this was the beginning of my engineering career." These tell us nothing about yourself. Regardless of what you may have been told in school, write a straightforward descriptive essay that directly addresses the question asked.
  3. Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing, such as "I want to help people." This is particularly applicable to essays for accelerated program candidates.
  4. Do not quote our own description of our program. We know what we have to offer; we are interested in knowing what you have to offer and how you will use what we offer. Tell us about your interests and why the Albert Dorman Honors College is the right place for you.


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