Personal Blog

My Common App Essay & My Personal Statement! - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day! For today’s blog post, I wanted to share my Common App essay and my Personal Statement with all of you. If you read my latest blog post, then you would know that I was looking through my college essays and found one where I speak about my most challenging moment and how I overcame it. I decided to post it on here because it was an essay that I had worked really hard on and felt like it was the one I put the most effort into. As I was looking through my other essays, I found my Personal Statement essay and my Common App essay and decided that I would post them on my website as well. For those of you who don’t know, the Common App essay is an essay that goes out to every single US university you apply to, as long as that university is actually on the Common App. There are lots of prompts that you can choose from, and you should pick the prompt that you feel closest to. I chose to do the first Common App prompt which states “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story” and I of course chose to talk about my passion for creative writing. I was very fortunate to have a private college counselor to look over my essay who really helped me tidy everything up. If any of you are currently in the process of applying to the US and you don’t know what to write for your Common App essay, then I hope reading my CommonApp essay can help you out. The Personal Statement Essay, on the other hand, is an essay that goes out to the five UK universities you choose to apply to on UCAS. Unlike the Common App essay, which is told in a story like manner, the Personal Statement Essay is much more factual and straight to the point. Without further ado, let’s get started!

My Common App Essay:

“I have been writing screenplays, short stories, novels, and poems for as long as I can remember. I can write for hours on end whilst being home alone, during a free period at school, late at night in my bedroom, or riding on the bus to school. What keeps me writing is my creative mind and my sources of inspiration come from everyday life. I am often flooded with ideas while at school, looking at new faces, exploring graffiti under a bridge, traveling on holiday, or spending time with my older brother when he visits from college. Once I get an idea, it’s not difficult for me to put that idea into action and see how it can be developed. My imagination works in strange ways. I could be walking past a hospital and spot a dog, and suddenly I will concoct a screenplay about a group of doctors experimenting on a dog’s mind since he’s the only witness to a crime scene. I will literally run to the nearest café, open my laptop, develop the outline, and then put it into action to see where that story goes. If I truly believe in the idea, then I won’t stop until the story is finished and will push myself to keep going regardless of other commitments. When I was fourteen years old, I remember walking through Terminal 2 at London Heathrow airport looking at a group of anxious and stressed air hostesses. I thought to myself “Why do they look so worried?” As I sat at my boarding gate, I got my laptop out and cooked up a plot where the real team of air hostesses had been kidnapped. These anxious air hostesses were fake and planning to hijack the plane. As crazy as it may sound, I spent the next six hours of my flight writing up this short story while others were sleeping! I made sure to lower my screen when the air hostesses came around to offer me something to drink. My main influences are Christopher Nolan and Jordan Peele. The first time I watched "The Dark Knight", I remember how amazed I was by the plot and immediately intrigued by this idea of a superhero and a villain who both have separate views about the world and won’t stop until they get what they want. Recently,  I’ve come to really admire “Get Out”. After watching this movie, I have gained more confidence to follow through with my ideas. The uniqueness of this film made me realize there isn’t anything too over the top to be pursued in my writing, and my imagination is a continuous cycle I enjoy exploring. My goal is to become a professional screenwriter. I have always wanted to write scripts for movies and TV shows, because I believe this is where I see myself being most happy. I want to write thriller movies on debatable topics that the world is able to learn from as well as be inspired. Yet, I also want to write comedy movies, in which I am able to entertain and put a smile on people’s faces. My ideas include a handicapped man robbing a bank, somebody being stuck on an open roller coaster all night long, a real estate agent selling a house to a strange couple living close to him, and many others I can’t wait to explore. Along with my future goals, I want to lead clubs in college dedicated to teaching students how to write creatively and want to share my creative writing for any magazine my college has. As I have shared my own writing for my high school’s magazine, I want to make sure this continues throughout my college experience. If the college I attend does not have their own magazine, then I will definitely start one and contribute to in school publications.”

My Personal Statement:

I am very excited about studying English and Creative writing in London. Studying English Literature will help foster my critical thinking skills and arouse my curiosity for different texts, while creative writing will encourage me to find my own voice as a writer. My HL IB English course really inspires me. In this course, I have learned techniques involved in literary criticism and been introduced to a range of literary works from different periods, genres, styles, languages, and cultures. Reading texts such as "The Outsider", "1984", "The Things They Carried", "Macbeth", "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" and "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" have all broadened my perspectives and fostered my imagination through their intriguing plot lines, choice of words, sentences and characters. I appreciate these texts in their intellectual and historical contexts and am amazed at the relationship between them as they transcend over time and continue to influence modern literature. While I read Macbeth at school, I became fascinated by Shakespeare's use of language. I wondered how Shakespeare knew which kind of language to work with to influence the audience to see Lady Macbeth's true motives. Shakespeare's themes intrigue me a lot and when I played the role of queen Hippolyta In "Midsummer Night's Dream", our school production, I understood how Hippolyta represents female power that's been suppressed by male authority, which is a recurring theme in the play. Currently, I am undertaking a 4000 word original in-depth research extended essay on "How Is Ken Kesey's Novel 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' a thinly veiled condemnation of feminism and to what effect". In this essay, I elaborate on Ken Kesey's anti-feminist views and how he believes that women should conform to their stereotypical roles. Study of English Literature has also immensely developed my rhetoric skills and contributed to my power of expression, in written communication. I have grown into a good orator winning the original oratory award and leading the school's debate and forensics team to victory. I also regularly contribute to the school literary magazine 'Expressions' and 'Nations Voice' writing poems and short stories. This summer, I attended a camp at Oxford University, UK, where I studied English Literature, creative writing, and academic writing. I presented a paper on James Joyce's early life and wrote an essay on Caliban's use of speech in Shakespeare's "The Tempest". As a writer, I have been writing screenplays, short stories, novels, and poems for as long as I can remember. I can write for hours on end whilst being home alone, during a free period at school, late at night in my bedroom, or riding on the bus to school. What keeps me writing is my creative mind and my sources of inspiration come from everyday life. I am often flooded with ideas while at school, looking at new faces, exploring graffiti under a bridge, traveling on holiday, or spending time with my older brother when he visits from college. Once I get an idea, it's not difficult for me to put that idea into action and see how it can be developed. I published my first novel, Vantablack, on Amazon Kindle, when I was sixteen years old. Since then, I have published two novels, four books of short stories, four books of poems, one book of bedtime stories and three screenplays, all of which sell on Amazon. I realized that writing fiction was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I also have my own website called www.beingshreya.com, a platform where I frequently post my creative writing, review and analyze books, and have a shop where anyone can buy my books. Over the years, I intend to grow into an independent writer and filmmaker by diving into new surroundings and new minds, gathering fresh perspectives and ideas and writing books and making movies that come from reality and heart.

Shreya Sachdev