While this essay asks you to “anticipate” what you will be like as a student at UD, that does not mean they are asking for idle speculation. A strong response to this essay will show how your projection connects back to your experiences. Once you start thinking about the question in these terms, then you can use your 200 words to start sharing some things with the admissions committee that they may not have been able to learn from reviewing your grades and test scores.
For example, you might say that you will be excited to start participating in small seminar discussions about literature because all throughout high school one of your favorite activities was going to the science fiction and fantasy book club. Nothing makes you happier than getting into an argument about the racial politics of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (are the orcs really bad guys who can be killed with impunity?). Maybe outside the classroom, you will want to continue volunteering as a reading coach at a local elementary school in preparation for your intended career as a teacher.
As you talk about what excites you inside and outside the classroom, you will want to try to make sure that those two things are related. In the example I’ve been discussing, there is a common theme: a love of reading.
On the whole, you will want to stick to talking about academic and community-service topics. This is not the time to say that you are excited about going to parties and experimenting with alcohol. If the social aspects of college really are part of what quickens your pulse, you can talk about that in a more wholesome manner. Maybe event-planning has always been your passion in high school, and you look forward to organizing student days for UD’s Athletics program.
But there is one more part in this question that adds a considerable amount of depth. UD not only wants to know where you will expect to thrive, but also what kinds of challenges you will expect to face. Here, it is okay to be a little bit vulnerable. It can often seem like the college admissions process is asking you to trumpet an endless line of success stories, but this part of the essay wants to see if you are good at recognizing your own limitations and figuring out ways to manage them.
Maybe you are really close to your family, and you know you will miss being able to spend time with your brothers around the house. Whenever you talk about areas where you will have to stretch yourself, you will probably also want to offer a sentence softening the blow and saying that, even if you know you will be challenged, you are still looking forward to facing that challenge. If you know you are going to miss your family, you can also say that you are looking forward to sharing your college experiences with your little brothers and encouraging them to attend college as well.
Step 1. To be considered for admission to the Honors Program, respond yes to the question, “Would you like to be considered for the UD Honors Program and complete the required essay in the Common Application.
Step 2. Prepare Your Honors Essay.
On the Common Application, you will be asked to write a 250 to 500 word essay answering one of these three questions. We’ve provided the questions here in the event you would like to prepare your answer before creating your application.
Question 1:The University of Delaware Strategic Plan emphasizes the role of the University in addressing the grand challenges of our time. Identify one or two grand challenges that you believe are most significant for your generation. What recommendations do you have for addressing these challenges and what outcomes do you hope to see? In what ways will your college experience be relevant?
Question 2: Wallace Bacon, an eminent literary scholar, wrote that the liberal arts and humanities “are concerned with the question of what makes life worth living.” Tell us what you think makes life worth living. Include a brief discussion of any particularly meaningful experiences, works of literature, art, music, etc. that have influenced your perspective and tell us how you intend to explore this question as a UD Honors student.
Question 3: What are you optimistic about. Why?
Step 3. Submit your application. And remember, if you are not admitted into Honors, your application will still be reviewed for general admission to the University.