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What Can You Include in Your College Resume/ Essay to Set Yourself Apart

So I am wanting to apply to several colleges, with my aspiration being to enter Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Science to study entomology. The issue for me is that, though I have good grades, I will have over 1,500 hours of volunteer/intern experience working with animals/ insects, and am participating in a summer program this summer (the summer prior to my senior year) I am unsure of what else I can participate in to set myself apart further from other candidates. For further context, I am going to enter my senior year this summer so I have relatively limited time to add things on and live in central Georgia. Any information would be extremely helpful! #applications #internships #college #gpa #cornell-university


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Katherine’s Answer

In my opinion (take this with a grain of salt because it's different for everyone!), try making your essay personal about who you are and not what you have done. The college will see your stellar grades and your dedicated hours or volunteering/interning in your actual application, so mentioning that stuff again in your essay could appear redundant. You can still take a spin on it and write about one thing you learned during the internship that really amazed you and would WOW the admissions department. I would steer away from recounting your whole life/academic experience and instead focus on a singular moment. That moment may be related to entomology... or it could be about something funny you read on the bus or heard during dinner. Something you saw on your way to school, or how it felt to ride your bike through town. It could be something funny or sad. Infuriating or amusing. Show the reader that you have emotional depth and that you're self-aware. Engage the reader's five senses and make them feel something. Show the reader something that isn't already on your application.


Keep in mind that an actual human will be reading your essay and forming an opinion about you and how you would fit into the school. If you can achieve an element of relatability in your essay, then you've got the reader hooked. I recommend talking to someone from your school's English department and bounce off ideas with them and ask them for help revising and editing your paper.


Good writers write about interesting topics; great writers make readers feel like they're right there between the lines.


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Christine’s Answer

Hi Kamryn,


A big part of college essays and personal statements is storytelling. What is unique about you and/or what would others like to know? If you don't know, ask friends and family this question. When was the first time you became interested in entomology? Was it when a weird specific of an insect landed on you while on vacation? Maybe it was a simple encounter with a mosquito or ladybug or cockroach. I know this may sound funny, but what sparked your first moment of joy with insects? Maybe you saw a piece of fruit on the group, and it was swarmed by these awesome living creatures, each fighting for its own way to survive in this chaotic world. One little piece of mango flesh can hold so much hope for XYZ insects :). Then you can tie in all the incredible experiences and equation you have provided above. This is essentially human interest piece and that should garner a piece of you - your voice - in this statement. Best of luck!


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