How to Write the Common App Essay Prompt About Failure
Today we continue our series of posts on common application essay topics. The second prompt asks students to, “Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you and what lessons did you learn?”
While most essay topics offer an open door for you to relate an accomplishment, moment of triumph, or positive personal attribute, this one asks instead that you to begin with failure. This isn’t some trap that the Common App has laid for unsuspecting students, nor is it an opportunity for you to score extra humility points with an admission office. It is, however, a prompt that requires care and thoughtfulness in its execution. A well-written “failure” essay can demonstrate remarkable growth and maturity, while a flippant or shallow version will cause you to lose ground with application readers.