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    An application to the Sutton Trust's USA summer school has the following question:
    Write about a time when you have been challenged (academically, emotionally, physically, etc). How did you approach the situation, and what did you learn from this experience?








    I was thinking that I could answer this by describing my "coming out" story but is this too risky? I'm thinking that the admissions might be homophobic which would scupper my chances but then maybe me being in a minority and talking frankly and openly about my experience would show a good character. Is this too personal/weird or is this a good idea?
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    Overused in the US admissions system. As is losing a family member, coping with illness/loss etc.

    Go for it if it really made a difference, but be aware a lot of others will be talking about it. You need to really differentiate yourself using it. Don't fall in to the trap of writing a sob story. You need to focus on what changed about you. Not what "being gay" and "coming out" was about to other people.

    Also please don't listen to anyone who's advising you from only experience/knowledge of the UK uni/application system. The American and British ones are completely different
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    OP, write what you feel. If it's coming out, then write that. If they have a problem, then at least you lost being you instead of trying to hide yourself.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Overused in the US admissions system. As is losing a family member, coping with illness/loss etc.

    Go for it if it really made a difference, but be aware a lot of others will be talking about it. You need to really differentiate yourself using it. Don't fall in to the trap of writing a sob story. You need to focus on what changed about you. Not what "being gay" and "coming out" was about to other people.

    Also please don't listen to anyone who's advising you from only experience/knowledge of the UK uni/application system. The American and British ones are completely different
    Thanks for the response. I was going to go down more of the "I found the confidence to do it and it made me become more self-appreciative and less doubtful of my friends and family etc." rather than the x-factor sob story route of "tears streamed down my face as I held my mum's hand"

    The problem is I've had a pretty all right life without too much pain or hardship so thinking of this sort of stuff is kind of hard unless I wanted to be trivial and talk about the time I got 4/10 on a test, went away and revised some more, then scored 10/10. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by hippydude126)
    An application to the Sutton Trust's USA summer school has the following question:
    Write about a time when you have been challenged (academically, emotionally, physically, etc). How did you approach the situation, and what did you learn from this experience?



    I was thinking that I could answer this by describing my "coming out" story but is this too risky? I'm thinking that the admissions might be homophobic which would scupper my chances but then maybe me being in a minority and talking frankly and openly about my experience would show a good character. Is this too personal/weird or is this a good idea?
    I think it's fine - actually a tad overused in the North American education system, right up there with divorced parents. Gonna have to agree with Student403.
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    No, keep it like the UCAS personal statement, but written in an essay fashion with some introspection.

    Your sexuality is best ignored. Though colleges and universities in general have a higher proportion of LGBT people than the general population.

    You're better off talking about hard work and opportunities, emotional baggage doesn't say much to colleges, unless you've overcome some extremely serious issues, and still done well in life.
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    (Original post by donutellme)
    This is honest and accurate.


    OP, write what you feel. If it's coming out, then write that. If they have a problem, then at least you lost being you instead of trying to hide yourself.
    This is good advice tysm for replying

    but I do REALLY want a place on the summer school hahaha
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    (Original post by hippydude126)
    Thanks for the response. I was going to go down more of the "I found the confidence to do it and it made me become more self-appreciative and less doubtful of my friends and family etc." rather than the x-factor sob story route of "tears streamed down my face as I held my mum's hand"

    The problem is I've had a pretty all right life without too much pain or hardship so thinking of this sort of stuff is kind of hard unless I wanted to be trivial and talk about the time I got 4/10 on a test, went away and revised some more, then scored 10/10. :rolleyes:
    Trust me - a lot of people feel that way I'm definitely not going to try to discourage you. Because while a lot of people write about coming out or being a minority, a lot of those people fail to show the committee that it isn't just a story they want sympathy from.

    There is a fine line to draw, but it's very possible. I know exactly what you mean with the mundane life thing haha. I think aymanzayedmannan can vouch that a lot of people find it confusing to write about.

    The great thing about US admissions committees is that you can actually talk about rather mundane things. It's about the effect it had on you and how you dealt with it and changed as a result. So the coming out story is a great way to start. But focus on you!

    Remember. This is NOTHING like the UCAS PS. Many people fall short trying to bring back their academics in to the essays.
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    Who's talking abut pain/hardship?? You've surely been academically or mentally challenged in your life - talk about that. Don't think it wants anything super serious/sad - it just has to be quite unique and answer the question well.
    Coming out, while it's noble, wouldn't be that good for an answer IMO


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    (Original post by GogoYubari)
    No, keep it like the UCAS personal statement, but written in an essay fashion with some introspection.

    Your sexuality is best ignored. Though colleges and universities in general have a higher proportion of LGBT people than the general population.

    You're better off talking about hard work and opportunities, emotional baggage doesn't say much to colleges, unless you've overcome some extremely serious issues, and still done well in life.

    This is interesting, thanks for sharing. I might have to think a bit deeper, or even better... MAKE SOMETHING UP!

    *jk*
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Trust me - a lot of people feel that way I'm definitely not going to try to discourage you. Because while a lot of people write about coming out or being a minority, a lot of those people fail to show the committee that it isn't just a story they want sympathy from.

    There is a fine line to draw, but it's very possible. I know exactly what you mean with the mundane life thing haha. I think aymanzayedmannan can vouch that a lot of people find it confusing to write about.

    The great thing about US admissions committees is that you can actually talk about rather mundane things. It's about the effect it had on you and how you dealt with it and changed as a result. So the coming out story is a great way to start. But focus on you!

    Remember. This is NOTHING like the UCAS PS. Many people fall short trying to bring back their academics in to the essays.
    Mate, I got this EXACT essay on one of my apps. I talked about how my mum left me home alone for 3 weeks during my AS-levels and how I got the class highest in AS Physics from that situation. If that isn't mundane, I don't know what is!
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    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)
    Mate, I got this EXACT essay on one of my apps. I talked about how my mum left me home alone for 3 weeks during my AS-levels and how I got the class highest in AS Physics from that situation. If that isn't mundane, I don't know what is!
    Haha that could probably come across as quite funny! (which is a good thing)

    And yeah it's a common prompt. I had a similar one for MIT
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Trust me - a lot of people feel that way I'm definitely not going to try to discourage you. Because while a lot of people write about coming out or being a minority, a lot of those people fail to show the committee that it isn't just a story they want sympathy from.

    There is a fine line to draw, but it's very possible. I know exactly what you mean with the mundane life thing haha. I think aymanzayedmannan can vouch that a lot of people find it confusing to write about.

    The great thing about US admissions committees is that you can actually talk about rather mundane things. It's about the effect it had on you and how you dealt with it and changed as a result. So the coming out story is a great way to start. But focus on you!

    Remember. This is NOTHING like the UCAS PS. Many people fall short trying to bring back their academics in to the essays.

    I think after evaluating the responses on here I might go for something a little more academical. Maybe when I found it hard to juggle 11 different subjects at GCSE and didn't organise my time properly so consequently got disappointing mock results. After reconsidering my attitude to learning, time management and revision techniques I studied hard to get GCSE I was pleased with.

    Better example maybe?
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    (Original post by aymanzayedmannan)
    Mate, I got this EXACT essay on one of my apps. I talked about how my mum left me home alone for 3 weeks during my AS-levels and how I got the class highest in AS Physics from that situation. If that isn't mundane, I don't know what is!
    Please tell me you has a house party in the 3 weeks?
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    (Original post by hippydude126)
    I think after evaluating the responses on here I might go for something a little more academical. Maybe when I found it hard to juggle 11 different subjects at GCSE and didn't organise my time properly so consequently got disappointing mock results. After reconsidering my attitude to learning, time management and revision techniques I studied hard to get GCSE I was pleased with.

    Better example maybe?
    I'd strongly advise against that. It *can* work but it is incredibly hard to perfect without talking about yourself academically, which is exactly what they don't want. They know you did well at GCSE and they know you studied hard to do that.

    I really don't think that's a good idea
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    (Original post by Student403)
    I'd strongly advise against that. It *can* work but it is incredibly hard to perfect without talking about yourself academically, which is exactly what they don't want. They know you did well at GCSE and they know you studied hard to do that.

    I really don't think that's a good idea
    okay, thanks because I would've probably have gone for that if you hadn't said anything. I'll just have to have a bit more of a think
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    (Original post by hippydude126)
    okay, thanks because I would've probably have gone for that if you hadn't said anything. I'll just have to have a bit more of a think
    Do consider it highly. I think you can make the coming out work, but only if you strongly keep it to how you developed as a person. Think of yourself before and after. Did you care as much what anyone thought?

    Oh and the #1 most ignored tip: be honest. Try not to exaggerate at all. They've read thousands of apps. It isn't hard to tell someone exaggerating
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    (Original post by Student403)
    Do consider it highly. I think you can make the coming out work, but only if you strongly keep it to how you developed as a person. Think of yourself before and after. Did you care as much what anyone thought?

    Oh and the #1 most ignored tip: be honest. Try not to exaggerate at all. They've read thousands of apps. It isn't hard to tell someone exaggerating
    Thank you Student403 you've been a real help
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    (Original post by hippydude126)
    Thank you Student403 you've been a real help
    Awesome If you'd like any more advice with the system in general, just ask! Whereabouts are you looking at in the Sutton Trust's Summer School?
 
 
 
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