Alright I’m gonna start this video off with the most important piece of advice I can give you all. the UC application essays and the common application essays are nothing alike. if you’re writing in a similar style for both essays you’re probably putting yourself at a major disadvantage. okay. you might be thinking, "but they’re both college application essays. What can make them. different?" And the answer to that is something very small but also very, very, very significant: word count. the common application essay is 650 words while the UC essays individually are 350 words. they’re basically half the size of the common application essay. and you might be thinking, "okay, word count. Great. What’s the big deal about that? Just fewer words, right?" No. since the common application essay has such a high word count you can use more words to make the story more engaging by adding stuff like literary elements, dialogue, anecdotes, all of that stuff. but since the UC essays only have half as much words you can’t really do that.. what should you focus on then? Well I’ll get to that in the next tip. the key to writing amazing UC application essays is to focus on content but I’m not trying to say don’t have any style in your essay at all but the amount of style you need in your UC essays is way less than the amount of style that you should have in your common application essay. you can think of style like as sugar just think of style as a little bit of sugar and your UC application essays are a bowl of strawberries. a little bit of sugar on your strawberries will taste great but if you put too much sugar on it it’s just not gonna work. too sugary.. you can think of your a common application essay as a powdered donut compared to your UC essays. you really just want to take advantage and use as much words as you can to show who you are, how you think, what’s important to you, etc. and also you want to use all four essays to just build on top of each other and show a different side of you. that way the admissions reader like has a better understanding of who you are and they can actually relate to you more because if you’re not presenting enough information then you’re just gonna be one application out of the dozens that or not dozens, like hundreds of thousands that they’re gonna read and since they have. many to read you really want to just stand out and present as much information as you can. that they remember you that being said you still want to make sure that you have one big secret ingredient in your essay: flow. a lot of people actually forget about flow since they’re trying to fit in. much information into the UC essays due to the 350 word count limit but what happens when you don’t have flow is that your essay either becomes choppy or it reads like a resume both of which will hurt your essay a lot. for those of you who aren’t really sure what flow is I’ll go through an example of it right now okay. the first paragraph has a lot of choppy sentences. it doesn’t really flow that well. you got the person saying I’m really passionate about math, math is fun, I like going to math competitions, and yeah it’s just very choppy, very short, and this kind of makes it also feel like reading a resume this is one issue with flow that a lot of people make but another common example is just transitioning between paragraphs. like the first paragraph is all about math and then suddenly the dude’s talking about becoming a geologist in the second paragraph without even having a clear transition or anything. what you want to do is make sure that your paragraph has an ending sentence that leads into the next paragraph or you want the second paragraph to have a topic sentence that connects back to the first paragraph this will make it easier for your admissions officer to read your essay which will in turn let them have a better understanding of what you’re saying and just get a better picture of who you are. just having a lot of content is not enough you need to make sure that you’re following that up with flow I’d say if we’re ranking what’s the most important in your UC essays first is content then its flow and then its style. flow is even more important than style. if you don’t have flow you’re missing a key ingredient in your essay which will hurt you a lot the next tip is to choose a prompt that works well for you not necessarily one that you think the admissions officer wants to read or one that you think might be easier to write the prompt you choose should be one that you’re passionate about and one that you can really highlight different characteristics about you and one that you have a lot of stuff to say but if you have a lot of good stuff to say about multiple prompts then my next tip might help you decide which prompts to choose. this tip involves looking at your supplemental essays for other colleges and seeing if the prompts line up with any of the UC essay prompts. if you really wanted to talk about either the creativity prompt or the leadership prompt but you were having trouble deciding which one you wanted a pick, you can look at the other colleges that you’re applying to and look at what supplemental essays they require because most likely those are your regular decision colleges. you have some time for those. in my case I noticed that the USC creativity prompt was almost exactly like the UC creativity prompt. I just recycled my UC essay for that one and use it for the USC prompt as well and this was just a coincidence I didn’t know that at the time but this might be worth looking into to see if any of them match up just in case you’re like deciding between a couple prompts. one of the UC application essays has a prompt where it’s like which academic subject inspires you or one that you’re passionate about or something like that and. if you don’t have an extracurricular activity that relates to one of your academic subjects but you want to go with that prompt you can relate you can talk about some of your extracurricular activities that might not be directly related to it but you can show how they’re related to the your academic subject that you like still. for me I talked about my experience with Boy Scouts and then I connected that to my interest in biology and talked about how like going in the outdoors and stuff and just exploring nature showed like how I was interested in biology because I also really liked animals and stuff and exploring the wildlife.
I connected that together. you can do something like that to still show how some extracurricular activities that you have relate to your interest in whatever you’re majoring in and stuff like that and this is optional but you can also show some knowledge about that academic subject that you like. like when I was talking about my interest in biology I mentioned how exploring outdoors and stuff allowed me to see certain lakes that experienced eutrophication which is a term I learned in AP bio where it’s like having too much nutrients in your lake. I kind of explained that a little bit in my essay. that kind of like shows the admissions officers that I actually know a lot about it. I’m not just randomly majoring in biology. it kind of just gives you some credibility a little bit if you show some knowledge about the academic subject that you like my last tip for the UC application essays is to write with confidence don’t worry about whether you’re gonna get rejected or accepted while you’re in the essay writing process since those feelings can translate into your writing. with that in mind you want to make sure that you’re writing your essays while being passionate and confident you can be pessimistic about all this stuff second semester when decisions are coming out but for now just be confident and passionate and just give it your best shot all right if you have any questions or concerns leave a comment down below and if you want to see more videos like this make sure to subscribe and I’ll see in the next video