College Admissions Essay: The LGBT Community

Essay about coming out.

It has been one year since I made a bold movement to come out to my mom as pansexual. Just to clarify, that does not mean I’m attracted to “pans” ,as in the one I could go to my kitchen and pull out. Pansexual, as defined in the dictionary, means to “not be limited in sexual choice regarding biological sex, gender, or gender identity”. Now, I may not be the best at explaining certain situations too in depth, but if I were to rate my most emotional moments in my entire lifetime, then my coming out story would most definitely rank number one. Without further ado, I present to you the most personal moment that I have ever experienced.

Essay on The Mental Health of Individuals in the LGBT community

  • 8 Works Cited

The mental health of individuals in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community is something that is a serious problem. For most of the history of the United States and many different parts of the world LGBT people faced much persecution and in some cases even death. This constant fear of discovery and the pressure that one feels on oneself when “in the closet” can lead to major mental distress. Research has shown that people who identify as LGBT are twice as likely to develop lifetime mood and anxiety disorders (Bostwick 468). This is extremely noticeable the past couple years in the suicides of bullied teens on the basis of sexual identity and expression. The stigma on simply being perceived as LGBT is strong enough to

The Community Of Lgbt Workers Essay

Since the beginning of their existence and in today’s society, the community of LGBT workers are not being treated fairly or getting their fair share that they deserve in the workplace. They are victims to high rates of workplace discrimination. Instead of being judged as workers and what they bring to their jobs and how they work, they are being judged by their sexual preferences and appearance. Being a gay or transgender worker causes them to be mistreated, not judged for the actual workers they are, and most importantly, halts a majority of them in better career and job opportunities. Although under federal law it is illegal to fire someone who is either gay or transgender, they are still either being denied employment or being terminated from their jobs because of their gender category or sexual orientation.

College Admissions Essay: Discrimination And Racism

I like to think of myself as a person who can appreciate and understand everyone's opinions. Although I might not agree with them, I feel as if everyone's beliefs and thoughts deserve to have equal initial respect. This leads me to where I was first introduced to discrimination and racism, the exact opposite concepts I now try to surround myself with. I have lived in Cross Roads, Pennsylvania for the entirety of my young life and if there is anything obvious about my community, it is that we are not very advanced in the diversity department. My hometown is predominantly white, which brings on a whole new set of problems concerning discrimination and racism, especially when a family of a different race moves to our community. Now don't get me wrong, my family, my friends, my neighbors, are not bad people. Most of them are great people but a few have just been brought up with idealisms that I myself find racist in nature. As an example, someone I spend a lot of time with because of family relations is in many ways ignorant to people different than them. They, like me, grew up in a

College Admissions Essay: A Personal Experience Of Being Gay

For the next two years I struggled with the concept that I might actually be gay. By junior I was certain that I was in fact all the things that I was called in middle school, but because of the negative memories I decided it was a secret that I was better of keeping to myself. That was until the spring semester of my senior year in high school when I decided that I was going to live my life the way I wanted to. I would no longer allow people to scare me into being anything other then what I wanted to be I would live my life openly and honestly. On the evening of February 16, 2014 I came out as Gay on literally every social media platform I owned. The following morning, to my surprise, my classmates for the most part greeted me with open arms. As I walked from class to class I received a staggering amount of compliments and support. I was quite frankly overwhelmed when I did get a negative comment and a dozen people rushed to my

Persuasive Essay On LGBT

The LGBT community in the United States has always had massive difficulty fitting into our society. For many years they put up with constant mistreatment and other forms of abuse coming from the those who do not agree with their lifestyle. They have for long advocated for the acceptance of their existence and punishment for crimes committed against them. One of the hardest battles the community has had to face was the right to marry in a society that still holds the values of a traditional relationship which is between a male and female. The struggle was quite harsh but it all paid off by 2015 when the supreme court granted gay couples the right to marry. This historical decision did not go without outcry and criticisms. Most of the dissatisfaction came from those who hold very religious values and beliefs that claims homosexuality is a sin. Religion has always been a part of the American way of life since the nation's founding and with that homosexuality has been demonized throughout our society. Now that gay couple possess the legal rights to have a marriage license, religious companies and/or stores are now denying service to LGBT couples as they believe it sinful on their behalf to even take part. Many people gay or straight who fought for gay rights believe these is pure discrimination and that stores should not have the right to deny service for any customer for any reason. However, this belief is unconstitutional and goes

Lgbtq Youth And Its Impact On The Community Essay

It’s very likely that LGBTQ youth are not able to get the help in school which causes them to have low self-esteem, not show up to school, and even engage in risky behavior. School psychologists must provide services for their entire student body and that includes youth apart of the LGBTQ community. Regardless of what their beliefs are it’s important that they give LGBTQ youth the support that they need and also help them work towards a positive identity while going the process of coming out. To assist LGBTQ youth with the decision of coming out, school therapists must create an environment that is conducive to trust, provide resources that will educate and foster empathy, and great care must be given to the type of therapy.

The Stonewall Riots

Around my middle school years, I knew something about myself was unique, but I could not quite put my finger on it. No one in my family was gay, the word gay was rarely spoken and I did not even know queerness existed. My family lived a very heteronormative lifestyle and I always assumed I would marry a girl and have children. I remember very clearly a day when I was in sixth grade, I was standing in the hallway after class and someone asked me, “are you gay?” I did not know how to react, I did not even know what the word “gay” meant. I immediately replied “NO” as the term gay was always used synonymously with stupid. After school that day, I asked my grandma what it meant to be gay and she described what it mean to be gay. In that moment,

Lgbtq Persuasive Essay

The current context of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights such as abortion with the recent election of President Trump was the inspiration for my research. I feel it is important for everyone to know when there has potentially been a violation of right’s, no matter the side one person and one vote can make a difference in so many lives. My mind has always been overcome with questions that relate to religion and the role it plays in politics. I have found through personal experience that religion plays in integral part in the political decision making of many individuals. These questions led me to formulate a formal question to give direction to my research. This question is, “How has Christianity impacted the passage of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights laws

Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center Essay

The Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Their mission is to build a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal and complete members of society. They value respect, excellence, inclusiveness, innovation, and integrity. The services that are offered by the Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center is housing, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, clothing and laundry services, education program, HIV testing and counseling, employment program, computer lab, housing referrals, recreational activities, art and music groups, and counseling and support groups. This center is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. except for Saturday it is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It helps the youth and individuals find peace and get their life back on track.

Argumentative Essay On LGBT Community

The LGBT community has always been a topic that many do not recognize go through serious issues such as suicide. Being a middle schooler or high schooler can be very stressful especially when you feel you’re an outcast because of your sexual orientation. That is why implementing programs or even activities can provide individuals with the information they need to be more aware of what type of people are around them. This could also help LGBT students feel more comfortable interacting.

Personal Narrative: My Coming Out

My coming out went really smoothly. My grandma is totally chill with it. I first told her in 3rd grade when I liked Kennedy. I honestly can not remember a thing about it, but I do know now that I talk to her about it quite often, and she does not care. She supports me.

Personal Narrative: My Sexuality

Growing up everyone is told that they are unique. “Be yourself,” “use your God-given talent,” and other expressions such as these impress the aforementioned narrative into our minds. Thus, when I was around thirteen years old, I thought my sexuality was just a part of me that only I had. I wanted to share this feature about myself; I wanted to take pride in it and show it off. Coming out to a close few friends showed positive and emotional responses. Riding on this high, I was ready to embrace myself in high school. Yet, my naivety took the best of me as I was going to an all male, religious high school. My sexuality has provided me with experiences that have and will continue to shape my life. These struggles, whether they are internal or external, have provided me with invaluable skills.

Prejudice And Discrimination Regarding Lgbt Essay

There are differences between what is considered to be prejudice and what discrimination is. Prejudice is identified as a typically negative attitude that is directed towards an individual 's social status, or group. Discrimination is reported as completing a negative act, or acts, towards a group, or individuals in a group, on the bias of the same reason or reasons. Given what is known, or inferred, about prejudice and discrimination, it can be related back to how LGBT associates are effected within athletic fields. Understanding the terminology, methods of research, development, and corrective/preventive procedures are well discussed in the field of Social Psychology.

The Importance Of Sexual Identity Development

The sexual orientation identity development is a theoretical model that conceptualized the resolution of internal conflict related to the formation of individual sexual identity. For sexual minority people, it is commonly known as the coming-out process (Bilodeau & Renn 2005). There have been many different models elaborated to explain such process. All of them share similar stages: awareness, crisis, and acceptance (Loiacano 1989). When individuals become aware of their queer feelings and attraction, they try to block these homosexual feelings by constantly denying and minimizing them. This mechanism of defense leaves negative sequelae in their overall psychosocial well-being (Bilodeau & Renn 2005). Individuals tend to pass by a

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Should I Come Out in My Personal Statement? (And If So, How)?

Coming out College Essay LGBTQ

Special thanks to these folks for their contributions to this post: Jenny Betz, Shane Windmeyer, Zachary George, Yanadira Mendez-Magana, and Brad Ward.

Click here for 50+ LGBTQ Resources for Students and Their Counselors, including: 

An Ally's Guide to Terminology + Intersectionality 101

(Re)considering the Role "Familismo" Plays in Latinx High School Students' College Choices

Top Scholarships for LGBTQ Students

Minding Your P's and Q's to Choose Your Perfect LGBTQ Campus + Campus Visit Score Card

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBTQ People

Trans Policy Clearinghouse

HRC 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report

Click here for scholarships and great resources for LGBTQ+ students.


Check out one of my favorite webinars with Yanadira Méndez-Magaña (of Uplift Education ): 50+ Practical College Application Resources for LGBTQ+ Students and Their Counselors

Should you consider coming out in your college essay?

Yes. End of post.

First, let’s address...

Possible Reason #1: I don’t want people thinking that’s ALL of me—there’s so much more

We totally hear you on this. And we’ll address how to show you’re more than just your coming-out story in part two of this post —with examples!

Possible Reason #2: The college may not accept me, or may have an anti-LGBTQ bias

First of all, most college admissions readers are pretty cool, open-minded people. But hey, if for some reason the college has an anti-LGBTQ bias, you probably don’t want to go there anyway. Amiright? How do you avoid ending up at a non-inclusive school? Research schools carefully. To get you started, here’s a list of gay-friendly colleges (spoiler: it’s long, but how awesome is that). Here’s another list . And here’s the BuzzFeed list . Oh, and Campus Pride has TONS of resources for helping LGBTQ students in the college process--check out this podcast for more.

Possible Reason #3: But I haven’t been bullied (No sob story)

That’s okay. Here’s the question: has coming out shaped your life and values in important ways? Then maybe (at least) consider it.

Possible Reason #4: My counselor told me not to come out in my essay.

I’m trying to imagine why a counselor would say this. But I don’t want to assume I know your counselor, so do me a favor. If your counselor has told you not to come out in your essay, don’t assume you know why. Instead, find a time to sit down with them and ask why they feel you shouldn’t. Then listen carefully. Stay curious. And open. But if your counselor can’t come up with a good reason, it could be that they are just working through some stuff. And that’s not on you; that’s their thing. So be nice, and thank them for their time. Then decide for yourself.

Possible Reason #5: My parents/teachers/counselor/friends don't know yet.

Maybe you’re worried that if you come out in your college essay then suddenly the whole world will know--and maybe you’re not ready for that yet. But, wait: Do your parents/teachers/counselor/friends need to see your personal statement? Heads-up that colleges won’t be reporting back to your counselor the content of your essays, if that’s a concern. This could be just between you and the admissions reader, as you’ll see in the first example in Part 2.

You have an opportunity to control your narrative and the way you want your story to be told. Plus, you can help the college understand what role your sexual identity plays in your life. Is this a huge part of your life, for example, or just one small part of who you are? There are so many different ways to come out in your essay--you’ll find lots of examples in Part 2 of this post.

Reason #2: Schools care about diversity and are actively recruiting LGBTQ+ students

And in some cases there's even scholarship money available. In fact, here’s a big list of scholarships for LGBTQ+ students. Here’s another great list . 

Reason #3: Some campuses have resource centers specifically for LGBTQ+ students

If they have a heads-up then they can connect you with those resources. And why is that a good idea? You can connect with some amazing folks even before you’re on campus. 

Reason #4: Because it’s hard and you’re gonna’ get to deal with a bunch of stuff

Telling your coming-out story is a great way to metabolize your experiences and learn a whole lot about yourself. Many of the students I (Ethan) have worked with who have elected to come out in their essays have reported that telling their coming out story in their personal statement ended up being a transformative process. 

Reason #5: Because your coming out story is an important part of who you are and it could help you get accepted into college

I see this happen every year. ( Examples here .)

Soooo you can probably tell, by our tone so far, that we’re suggesting that coming out in your essay is at least an idea worth exploring. Having said that, here are:

Three Situations in Which Maybe You Actually Shouldn’t

You’re just not ready yet. 

If it could jeopardize your parents’ willingness to pay for college. 

Because you haven’t thought too much about this yet and your essay is due, like, tomorrow.

Okay, next question: if you’re going to come out in your essay--or you’re considering it--how do you do it?

First, let’s acknowledge that there are many ways to “come out” in your personal statement: you could be disclosing a long-kept family secret, for example, or the fact that you or your family is undocumented. (For more on coming out as undocumented, read “ Should I Come Out As Undocumented in My Personal Statement ?”)

If you’ve read Part 1 of this post, “Should I Come Out in My Personal Statement” and have decided that yes, you should (or you’re at least considering it), here are two things to keep in mind. First:

A great personal statement—no matter the topic—often demonstrates these four qualities: 

Core Values: (e.g.: curiosity, diversity, social justice, etc.)

Insight (aka “so what” moments)

Vulnerability (is the essay personal ?)

Craft (Is the essay well-written?)

I’ll discuss these qualities in my analysis of the sample essays below, but if you want to learn more about these qualities, check out The Great College Essay Test . The second thing to remember is this.

There are many ways to address your LGBTQ+ identity in your essay.

In the essays below, for example:  

In the “This Is Me” essay below, the author describes his LGBTQ+ identity as just one of several ways he identifies.

Due to familial and cultural pressures, the author of “My Double (Triple?) Life” is not out yet and her essay describes what that’s like for her.

The author of “He Lives Freely” is out and proud and his essay is primarily about his journey towards becoming an advocate.

The author of “My Life Began at 15” describes their transition, which began as a child when (the author writes) “I knew on some level that I didn’t feel fully like a girl.”

While the author of “Room 216B” mentions his sexual identity in the first sentence, the essay is mostly about other things--primarily their love of math. 

In the remaining essays you’ll find students taking a wide range of approaches, or even sharing about what it’s been like growing up with gay parents in a conservative environment.

In short, there’s no one “right” way.

Everyone’s different.  

Find your way. 

I hope these essays will help.

Example Essay: This Is Me

I am Mexican.

The sound of frying empanadas and the smell of burning peppers. My mother calling me 'mi vida' and my relatives kissing my cheek. Running but never hiding from the dreaded chancla and always responding with, "Muy bien, y tu?" Childhood vacations to Puebla and Cancun, swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand. Feeling the need to be good at cross-country, feeling the need to be able to endure spicy.

Those are all me.

I am Chinese.

The utter preference for using chopsticks in every scenario and the unhealthy craving for rice with every meal. The sharing of every dish placed on the center turn table. Hotpot for celebration and tea eggs, of all things, as a favorite dish. My father's musical Cantonese conversations with my grandparents, and their constant inquiry asking, "How is school?" Being named after 龙, the dragon, for strength and living for three years in Shanghai. The constant pressure to get good grades, my father's desire for me to become a doctor, and the never-ending, “How are you so bad at math, you're Asian?”

I am American.

A citizen with the freedom to vote. The freedom to speak my mind and the representation by all the cultures and countries of the world. Shopping sprees at Target and a constant diet of fast foods. Full acceptance of the consumer society and a rather unhealthy addiction to social media and technology. Going to football games on Friday nights and watching Netflix on Saturday nights. Always watching my weight. Always looking at others. Always wishing, always wanting for more.

I am Catholic.

Sunday mornings always spent at church. The private Catholic middle and high schools each with masses for special occasions. Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. Praying before each meal and saying, “Go away in the name of Jesus” to nighttime horrors. Theology classes and realizing there is so much more to religion than faith. Having something to believe in. Questioning what you believe in. Turning to God when I see the horrors in the world and getting no response.

I am homosexual.

An unusual obsession with fashion and clothing. Watching Game of Thrones not for Daenerys or Cersei, but for Jon Snow and Jamie. Seeing Love Simon for the first time, and crying at least five times. Always conscious always thinking before talking. Going to an all-boys school. Dealing with gay being to go to expression for displeasure. Being called a faggot when I act gay. Fear of my parents finding out.

I am Jonathan Kei-Lung Eng.

I love reading and am addicted to fanfiction. I have three siblings and love my two dogs more than anything in the world. I can't eat spicy food and I have the biggest sweet-tooth. I play League of Legends and soccer. I'm a Marvel geek and theater nerd. My friends call me Jenga. My teammates call me Jeng. My teachers call me Mr. Eng. I am Mexican. I am Chinese. I am American. I am Catholic. I am gay. I am all of this and more, and most of all, I am me. My identity is not a singular entity, but a conglomeration of experiences, believes, and origins. This is my identity.

This is me.

Ethan’s Analysis: This essay uses the Montage Structure in that the author chooses five different identities (Mexican, Chinese, American, Catholic, homosexual) and uses a variety of specific, visual details to describe each identity. The final paragraph is a montage of other identities (Marvel geek, theater nerd, etc.). 

In my opinion, it has all four qualities I mentioned above:

Core values: In this essay I see culture, family, faith, intellectual curiosity, social justice, vulnerability, humor, sensitivity, fun, adventure, and more...

Insight: So many moments in this essay give me insight into who the author is. Examples include his awareness of being a product of American culture (“Full acceptance of the consumer society and a rather unhealthy addiction to social media and technology”) and awareness that it’s possible for contrasting truths to exist simultaneously (“Having something to believe in. Questioning what you believe in.”)

Vulnerability: It’s beautifully vulnerable throughout, including the lines, “Always watching my weight. Always looking at others. Always wishing, always wanting for more” and, later, “Being called a faggot when I act gay. Fear of my parents finding out.” Note, however, that this is not what I’d call Level 10 vulnerable. I’d say it’s like level 7 or 8 vulnerable, which to me is the sweet spot for personal statements. (This is not a scientific scale, obviously; it’s more of a gut check thing.)

Craft: The quality and range of details lets us know these moments were carefully chosen and that this essay went through several rounds of revision. Also, I teared up when I read it for the first time. That’s not something you must do in your essay, but it is one indication to me that an essay possesses these four qualities.

The next example uses the Narrative Structure and, like the author above, she wasn’t yet out to her family.

Essay Example: My Double (Triple?) Life

There’s nothing more wholesome than a Persian party: we cook kebab, play chess, and dance. Okay, I’m leaving out the poker, hookah, and belly-dancing but, I believe our vices strengthen our virtues. The same friends I party with, I celebrate Nowruz with and meet every Friday to discuss Persian diaspora. We’re modern Persians and we’re fiercely patriotic.

But most of us have learned what being Persian means from our elders. 

The boy didn’t know my name when he said, “Girl, don’t study biology, just marry a Persian guy, cook us food, clean the house and we’ll take care of you.” As an advocate for women in STEM, I picture myself one day expanding the United State’s sustainable energy industry, however, I’ve realized it’s my generation who will have to pave the way for Persian women in the sciences. Thus, my growing awareness of Persian social inequities has forced me to examine the other antiquated social constructs Persians clings to.

Persian summer camp and I have a complicated relationship. It’s given me a lifetime’s worth of fond memories and of microaggressions: “She hasn’t worn makeup all week, I bet she’s lesbian” and “He dresses a little too well, if you know what I mean.” One year, a camper told another girl that she liked girls, and within 24 hours she left due to the vitriol she’d endured from both campers and counselors. As she was driving away, it struck me, I could’ve easily been in her place, because I kind of like girls too. Outing myself isn’t an option, however, so to this day I keep my mouth shut and pretend not to hear the homophobia.

Bisexuality isn’t a valid option in the Persian community. Thus, I’ve imposed a wall inside me between my culture, my sexuality, and even my love for chemistry, inducing me to lead a double (triple?) life (and not the cool spy kind). I often struggle with resentment towards my community for denying me role models beyond the tropes of a loving mother. But I’ve also realized I only have room for one secret in my 5’3 body and I’ve come out about at least one part of myself.

Biology turns me on and I’m not ashamed. Embracing this has led me to create the Women in STEM club and receiving positive feedback has given me the courage to stand in my power outside of a school environment. I’ve given speeches to my Persian youth group on both healthcare in sustainable economics. Although I get called annoying by my (male) peers for speaking up, I’d endure much worse if it meant that just one girl in the crowd didn’t have to hide who she is to the community she loves.

In my lifetime I’ll see a Persian culture that respects its female doctors, and I want to be part of that. I’m not positive that I’ll see a Persian culture that accepts same-sex marriage or supports transgender rights, but I might see one that recognizes LGBTQ+ existence. I get lost in this dream where I bring my (non-existent) girlfriend to one of our infamous Persian parties and everyone’s ok with it. But the expectation for me to marry a nice, Persian man and have a big, Persian wedding also haunts me. 

Worries partially aside, I’ve come to a conclusion (literally and in this essay): if I can come out to a college admissions board and not fear rejection, then I should stop fearing rejection from my community. I’m done agonizing over the hypothetical: it’s about time that I begin existing as who I am and fight back against intolerance. There’s only so much progress that even I--the Persian bisexual feminist that I am--can make from inside a closet.  

- - - 

Ethan’s Analysis: This essay was written using the Narrative Structure. For a step-by-step guide (and to use the exercise this student used to generate content for this essay), try the Feelings and Needs exercise at this link . The basic parts are these: 

What challenge(s) have you faced, or are you currently facing?

What have been the effects or impacts of that challenge on your life?

What different emotions did that make you feel?

Based on those feelings, what were (or are) your needs?

What did you do (or are you doing) to meet that need?

What have you learned through this process?

The exercise at the link above will walk you through those more slowly and with more context. It takes 15-20 minutes to complete it, and by the end you may have your essay mapped out. 

Here are those four qualities I like to look for:

Core values: In this essay I see culture, family, social justice, science/STEM, equality, environmentalism, vulnerability, humor, ambition.

Insight: I learn a lot about her ability to use humor to cope with her situation, in particular when she writes, “Bisexuality isn’t a valid option in the Persian community. Thus, I’ve imposed a wall inside me between my culture, my sexuality, and even my love for chemistry, inducing me to lead a double (triple?) life (and not the cool spy kind).” I also get insight into how much she wants to help others when she writes, “Although I get called annoying by my (male) peers for speaking up, I’d endure much worse if it meant that just one girl in the crowd didn’t have to hide who she is to the community she loves.” My heart aches to read that.

Vulnerability: As with the author above, just writing this essay was a huge act of vulnerability. And, like the essay above, there are some vulnerable lines along the way, including “As she was driving away, it struck me, I could’ve easily been in her place, because I kind of like girls too” and “I get lost in this dream where I bring my (non-existent) girlfriend to one of our infamous Persian parties and everyone’s ok with it. But the expectation for me to marry a nice, Persian man and have a big, Persian wedding also haunts me.” The most vulnerable moment, however, may be at the end where she acknowledges that she probably still should come out… and still hasn’t. She wants to, but can’t. 

Craft: It’s so well-written. Some of my favorite lines include, “Persian summer camp and I have a complicated relationship. It’s given me a lifetime’s worth of fond memories and of microaggressions” and “There’s only so much progress that even I--the Persian bisexual feminist that I am--can make from inside a closet.”

The author of the next essay uses a chronological approach (Narrative Structure) to sharing his journey toward becoming an advocate for other queer people of color.

Example Essay: He Lives Freely

One of my favorite outfits in fourth grade was a bright purple shirt with dark purple jeans. When classmates saw me, they would giggle and ask why I was dressed “like that”. Though I loved my clothes, I always felt embarrassed walking into school. My mother would tell me that I “shouldn’t wear things like that” if I wanted to fit in. I knew she was trying to help, but I felt that even if I did dress like the other boys, I would still be rejected. I was aware that my clothes weren’t the problem: it was that I was black, that my mannerisms were too feminine, that my voice wasn’t deep enough. The list of things about me classmates perceived as strange was long. 

Desperate to fit in, I joined a mostly white, mean-spirited friend group in middle school that made fun of a girl named Alexis. I was so happy to have friends that I ignored their comments. But when Camille told Alexis she was no longer allowed to sit with us because she was too “ghetto,” I understood that we teased her not because of anything as simple as her bad breath, but because she was black and because she lived on the other side of town. Alexis had a list as long as mine. I stood up, looked Camille in the eyes and said “You’re a bully.” I believe this to be the moment I became an activist. I knew all too well how it felt to be made a stranger in my own community.

The next day, Camille (who, regrettably, I’d told I was gay) outed me. For the rest of the year, people mocked me in “gay voices,” and whispered behind my back. At the end of the year, I left that school, despite everything, still proud to wear my thick-framed glasses and crop-tops that I’d cut myself.

At my new school, I was drawn toward clubs like TRIBE-ONYX, the black activism club, and Spectrum, our Gay-Straight Alliance. I even attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, where I finally found a community of shared experience. The discussions there were truly cathartic, and I decided to bring them to my school. I wanted to create not just a black group, which is by nature exclusionary, but a community of diverse students that would both support its members and better our broader community. Thus, People of Color Club (POCC) was born. 

As founder, I organized an assembly on microaggressions where I and other members shared our experiences. Mine was that various white teachers had neglected to learn my name and, instead, have called me that of another black student. After the presentation, many teachers and students sought me out to share the impact of the assembly. I felt excited knowing that I was already getting the community talking. POCC is not only a safe space for students of color, but also a group dedicated to community involvement. We have sorted and packaged hundreds of boxes at local food pantries and are currently working on establishing relationships with local homeless women’s shelters

I believe the constant bullying I dealt with growing up was necessary for me to develop the empathy that activism requires. Despite everything, I never attempted to hide myself or change. I took refuge in my favorite works of literature, the fearless self-expression helping me to grow a thick skin. Books like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and On the Road planted in me the knowledge that freedom is out there, and that unabashed self-love and resilience are the roadmap. 

As both a writer and an activist, I want to do for others what Maya Angelou did for me. I want the lonely queer kid who can’t keep a friend to pick up my book and say, “He lives freely and without fear of judgement; perhaps there is hope for me.”

Ethan’s Analysis:

Here’s a simple outline of the structure this essay uses:

Challenges I’ve faced and their impact on me

What I’ve done about it

What I’ve learned through this experience

This essay was also written after completing the Feelings and Needs Exercise and follows the elements of Narrative Structure:

Inciting Incident

Raising of the Stakes

Turning Point

New Status Quo

While this essay possesses the four qualities I’ve named (Core values, insight, vulnerability, craft), here’s a quick analysis of how the author uses these elements: 

Status Quo: The author is ostracized by his mother and peers.

Inciting Incident: He stands up to a bully.

Raising of the Stakes: The next day he’s outted at school by one of the bullies. As a result, he endures more bullying. Still, he continues to proudly wear the clothes he wants to wear.

Turning Point: He switches schools and joins clubs like TRIBE-ONYX, the black activism club, and Spectrum, the Gay-Straight Alliance. He also attends the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, where, he writes, “I finally found a community of shared experience.” 

Denouement (i.e. what happens next--useful for showing who you’ve become): He forms POCC (People of Color Club), which is not only a safe space for students of color, but also a group dedicated to community involvement. He realizes that “the constant bullying I dealt with growing up was necessary for me to develop the empathy that activism requires. Despite everything, I never attempted to hide myself or change. I took refuge in my favorite works of literature, the fearless self-expression helping me to grow a thick skin. Books like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and On the Road planted in me the knowledge that freedom is out there, and that unabashed self-love and resilience are the roadmap.” 

New Status Quo: In the end, he writes, “I want the lonely queer kid who can’t keep a friend to pick up my book and say, “He lives freely and without fear of judgement; perhaps there is hope for me.”

The essays below use either the Montage or Narrative Structure, and all pass the Great College Essay Test . Click any of those links for a step-by-step guide.

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Example Essay: My Life Began at 15

My life as I know it began when I was 15. As a freshman in high school, life is already confusing, and to add on to that struggle I began to really question who I was as a person. I had known since a very young age that I was different, and I mean that in a distinct way: I knew my sexuality was different than that of the people around me. At the age of 12 I came out to my friends as bisexual, and at the time had full support from almost every one of my peers. When I told my mother, it was in passing, on my way out the door; I didn’t think it was a big enough deal to warrant a serious conversation. I appreciate being raised to think like that. But when high school started, things got more complicated -- I began to discover gender. 

I was beginning to spend time on social media, and in doing so I discovered the complexity of gender and the spectrum that it entailed, so my mind began to wander and questions of gender started to plague my mind every day. 

I didn’t think I would be accepted, so I spent a year silent about these questions and confusions. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I sat my parents down at the dinner table to tell them that I was genderfluid. They didn’t understand, but they tried to. They asked questions and I answered them to the best of my ability. That was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had, and once it was over I knew it wasn’t really over. Over the course of that year, I felt more and more masculine, spending fewer days identifying as feminine and more days identifying as masculine. I stopped wearing makeup, bought myself a chest binder, wore androgynous clothing, and I told my friends to start calling me Sam -- a solid gender-neutral name.

Even as a child, I knew on some level that I didn’t feel fully like a girl. In second grade, I told my mother that I wanted to go by Max, and that I wanted to be a boy. She sent me to my school counselor, of course with good intentions. But nobody, not my mother, not my friends or my teachers, and not the counselor, told me that it was okay to want to be a boy. Nobody explained to me that transgender people exist and have existed for centuries, and nobody told me that there was a word for the way I was feeling. So I ignored how I was feeling and pushed it into the back of my mind for years. 

Once I gained the vocabulary to describe the way I felt, it became infinitely easier to put into words. I finally had a label. Society relies so heavily today on labels that it felt impossible for me to be myself without one, so when I found one it was a massive relief, a huge weight off my chest. Now, being transgender is something I’m well known for and I’m able to be a source of inspiration for younger transgender kids. At 16 I had started hormone replacement therapy, and at 17 raised the money and made an appointment for gender affirming chest surgery. I know that I have to be aware of my privilege in this matter, considering how rare it is for physical transition to be allowed this early on in life. I only hope to inspire others and show them that it is possible to be happy, that it is okay to question who you are, and that you are never alone despite how lonely you may feel. 

Example Essay: Room 216B

Being gay in a homophobic household, an atheist in a strict, Muslim family, and a math fanatic in a theater centered school, I have always felt out of place. I wasn’t allowed to converse with my parents about my already concealed sexuality. I read scriptures that demonized who I was. I was convinced that my orientation was heinous and that I must marry a woman. Not that women are bad, but as a gay male, women probably aren’t my type.

Most importantly, I didn’t have anyone to geek out about Math with. While the theater kids sang songs from Hamilton, I was justifying if a function had crossed the x-axis in a given interval using Rolle’s Theorem or finding the points of inflection of a function using the second derivative test years before I’d even taken Calculus. (Thanks, Harvard edX!)

Finding solace was troublesome because of the detachment I felt from surrounding environments. That was before I met my Geometry teacher on the first day of my freshman year.

I walked into the compressed room and maneuvered my way through bags and chairs. I sat down at a table, all the way in the back, on my hard-edged, metal chair, and took out my notebook.

My teacher, Mr. Smith, walked into the classroom.

“Quick, what’s 93?” he jokingly asked as an icebreaker.

“729,” I immediately blurted.

Mr. Smith, with everyone else, turned his head and stared at me. Heat began to build up in the back of my head. The air was tense.

Great. I had developed the “know-it-all freshman” personality already.

“You managed to do that in your head?” he inquired.

“Yeah, I can do other operations as well,” I replied.

Somehow, everyone else in the room vanished.

After class, Mr. Smith introduced me to math competitions such as the AMC and HMMT, geometric theorems like the Hypotenuse-Leg theorem, and future courses that he thought I’d love. Someone finally noticed me for my Math skills. I didn’t feel that out of place anymore.

My mathematical adventures didn’t end there; freshman year was filled with more self-teaching through Harvard edX. Since then, I’ve received national recognition on several occasions, qualifying for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination and placing in the 99th percentile of MathCon in my sophomore year. In my junior year, I founded and became the captain of my school’s Mathletes team, leading us to second place in a regional math competition and allowing me to organize a trip to the national Princeton University Mathematics Competition. Withal, I’ve established a mathematical personality and aided others through their mathematical plights. Every time I tutored someone, the mathematical foundation that I built for my personality and my school prospered.

Years have passed since our first encounter and every discussion with Mr. Smith has since resonated with me, creating common ground with my future endeavors and my appreciation of math.

My future occupation is probably apparent; I want to major in math and become a professor to inspire and help others like me. The adrenaline that tutoring gives me is unrivaled, and my encounters with Mr. Smith helped me realize how significant a teacher can be to their students through education and generosity.

That’s not all. I desire to become a counselor to help the LGBTQ+ youth suffering from the conflicts I have faced; I plan to double major in math and psychology. The lessons that I’ve learned through math have helped shape a compassionate demeanor, a quality necessary for both of my future professions. Balancing both will be arduous, but I’ll use everything from differential calculus to psychological behaviorism to ensure those experiencing similar hardships won’t have to feel out of place.


By Edward Wolfson

“Beat your face!” “Looking fishy hunty.” “You betta work!” These quotes don’t come from a school fight, a fish market, or a demanding boss. They come from RuPaul’s Drag Race , the only show featuring an eclectic mix of dancing, modeling, lip syncing, comedy, drama, fashion, and of course drag queens. It’s a beautiful whirlwind of a little bit of TV and a whole lot of crazy—but Drag Race isn’t just a source of entertainment for me, it has shown me the beauty of pure, uninhibited self-expression and empowered me to be me. 

Throughout 9th and 10th grade I was overwhelmed by the barrage of imagery that told me that being gay was about being the “right” body type and saying the sassiest, most opinionated things I could think of. This left me, a chubby pubescent 15-year-old, obsessed with losing weight and walking around the halls exclaiming “That’s faabbuulloouuss!”  I was determined to become the type of gay boy that popular culture suggested I was meant to be. Drag Race showed me the endless possibilities of what being gay could mean. I saw men who looked like me being praised for their “delicious curves;” I saw gay men who liked sports or math or exercise or all of the above or none of it. I learned that I can define my own queerness; I could love biology, be oblivious as to what a “sophisticated color palette” is, and still want to experiment with drag and gender and what “me” is. 

The queens on Ru Paul’s Drag Race have created a space in which they give each other unwavering love and support. They’ve shown me an ideal to aspire to, a community in which inner truths are more than accepted, they are embraced. Before watching the show, I was deathly afraid of putting on pride socks, even though they were hidden beneath my clothes. I wasn’t able to speak about things that mattered to me without a shaking voice and sweaty palms. The queens’ courage to show the world their most inner selves demonstrated to me that being brave and speaking out doesn’t only open you up to failure, it opens you up to greater success. They inspired me to march in DC Pride, wearing a rainbow tutu, dancing like nobody was watching. They gave me the strength to speak up in class, to push past the nerves and allow my voice to be heard. I took leadership positions in clubs, fostering safe spaces for my peers to share their perspectives without inhibition. As a president of poetry club, I created a platform for queer students to share their stories. I was selected to attend the NAIS Student Leadership and Diversity Conference. At the conference, I learned how to expound upon my beliefs and was inspired to make a difference in my community. I developed an independent study focused on diversifying the English and History curriculum, to give a voice to the unheard minorities at my school. Now I have a newfound confidence, a passion for leadership, and a motivation to make change. 

Today, I walk through the halls unafraid to be me—to dance in the middle of the hallway, to put on my pride socks and a pin too, to sing Chicago in the airport. My hope is that I can be to others what Drag Race was for me; I want to share my experiences with my peers and reach new conclusions with them, to be brave and inspire braveness in others, and to help create a community where all can share their beliefs without fear of rejection. I can’t wait for the next season.

Example Essay: Waving Out the Window

Note from Ethan: While the author of this essay identifies as heterosexual, I felt this example was well worth including in this collection due to its content and quality.

I was too young to understand why my parents responded with silence. As a curious, naive seven-year-old boy, I questioned just about everything, but my parents, they always had answers. After a productive day at school, I skipped into my parents' Volvo and sunk into the black leather seat. As I was riding home, my innocent eyes peered out the window, and I spotted a large group of men and women surrounding the road in front of us. Rolling closer to the group, I was stunned to see so many men and women chanting with signs in their hands. Curiously, with a sneaking grin on my face, I raised my hands and began to wave at them-my dad's head snapped back at me. "Don't wave at them, Ryan." Panic filled his eyes. "Why dad?" He stared at me for a few moments with a look of pity and then turned back around. "Dad, what's wrong?" Silence. 

"Kids, let's go. We're going to be late!"  While hastily adjusting my crooked blue tie, tripping over myself just getting into the car, I was exceptionally giddy thinking of the celebrations that were soon to come with my parents' marriage. My parents sped straight past the church and parked by a courthouse. The celebrations never came. Inside the courthouse, strangers gave us daring side glances. I felt judged, but I didn't understand why. There was no fancy wedding, no party, no cake, no family members, no celebration. Rather than happiness and celebrations, I was scared and upset. What is wrong with us? my innocent seven-year-old self thought. Why are we different? 

Maturing into my early teens, I discovered that my parents rushed their wedding plans in the wake of the Marriage Equality Countermovement, fearing that if they waited too long, gay marriage would soon become illegal. I discovered that those crazy men and women with signs were yelling slurs at our car.

I was a black sheep in a white herd. Most of my vivid childhood memories weren't of Disneyland or of Santa Claus but rather the uncomfortable experiences I faced growing up with an unconventional family. These experiences planted the idea that people would judge me for having gay parents. Throughout middle school, I kept the identities of my parents secret, going to great lengths to invite friends to my house when my parents weren't home. Realizing my attraction to males in 7th grade closed me off even further-I used to hate myself for being something I thought society viewed as wrong. Not anymore. 

In high school, I snapped the leg cuffs from my ankles and took my own steps. No longer would I live my life by other people's standards. This was my life, no one else's. After three years of secrecy, I confronted my friends about my own sexuality-I heard only words of support. Unhappy playing my lifetime sport of soccer, I pursued my passion for running-becoming the captain and one of the most successful runners in school history. I dreaded going to Spanish class every day, so this past year I dropped it to double in a field I love: Science-that decision paid off as I uncovered a drive for engineering. By being myself, by being different, I'm not only much happier but also more successful.  

Living my authentic self, I'll be that guy to break college's social and academic norms. Give me a presentation on Shakespeare's Othello and I'll find a way to administer an amateur psychological evaluation of my classmates. I actually did that last week. I'll be that guy to wear a dress when presenting on "Queen Elizabeth." Because in the end, being unique is so much more rewarding than fitting in with the rest. 

I'll continue to look out the window and wave.

Example Essay: Princeton University Writing Supplement

 “Culture is what presents us with the kinds of valuable things that can fill a life. And insofar as we can recognize the value in those things and make them part of our lives, our lives are meaningful.” Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy and chair, Department of Philosophy, Princeton University.

My being has long been bordered by the Ohio River to the North, the Appalachians to the East, the Pennyroyal Plateau to the South, and the Jackson Purchase to the West. Within this geographical compass rose is my Commonwealth. Kentucky, as I have grown to know it, is a land in which paradox is commonplace. As a Kentuckian, I am no exception to this rule. My own Commonwealth Catch-22 is one that has guided my life: how I can love a place that has hated my family for so long.

I will begin with a tale of two Kentuckies—mine and the one you have probably heard. Mine is a tale of same-sex parents whose love was born in the bluegrass, a love so strong that it supported me even as I seemed to have stopped deserving it. Their love is my Kentucky, and it was a love I thought normal until proven otherwise. Mine ends with a realization of difference: as I took a seat in my third grade open house, I noticed that I was the only child accompanied by a mother and a stepmother. The story of the Kentucky the newsmen know begins with my discovery that all of the rescinded sleepover invitations, nervous whispers, hostile stares, and solitary lunchtimes had a source. The tributary of this Ohio River of exclusion was none other than a family that loved each other unapologetically.

This epiphany was followed by an anger reflected in a myriad of principal’s office visits and friendship counseling sessions. Through this period, my family held my quickly unraveling ends together, even as I began to blame them out of a place of confusion. In this time that spanned the rest of my elementary and middle school, I screamed out of fury rather than purpose.

I found my voice in silence. It was two days of no words in protest of LGBTQ bullying and discrimination during my freshman year of high school. In that silence, I could no longer drown out the dreaded whispers but was forced to consider how they could be stopped. Those 48 hours still echo through my life, as they represent my triumph over hopelessness into purpose.

The parts of my identity I once resented, my family and my state, have become what I treasure most. In my family, I see a love capable of transcending hate and turning it into tolerance. In my state, I see a beautiful land I can help overcome ugly unfairness. In all I advocate for, whether that be women’s equality, teachers’ pensions, LGBTQ rights, or drug prevention, I strive to personify the love that made me and fight for the state that gave me a home. More than anything, I share my story to empower all those in my community who feel voiceless.

Regardless of where life may take me, the voice I discovered in silence and the purpose I found in prejudice guides me. I will always be the once directionless girl born in a compass rose seeking to find the true North of progress.

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Gay Acceptance - Harvard - College application essay help


Hometown : Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA

High School : Public school, 295 students in graduating class

Ethnicity : White

Gender : Male

GPA : 4.0 out of 4.0

SAT : Reading 800, Math 750, Writing 760

SAT Subject Tests Taken : U.S. History, Mathematics Level 2, and Biology M

Extracurriculars : Drama Club member, National Honor Society president, Students Taking on Poverty president, Men’s Chorus member, UNITE Mentoring mentor

Awards : Princeton Book Award, National Merit finalist, Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award, Salutatorian, AP Scholar with Distinction

Major : Sociology

College application essay help

I didn’t see many rainbows in India. They hide in the monsoon rains, or are too frightened by the hot, stifling climate. Likewise, I was terrified of showing that side of myself in a homophobic country, especially to the host family I had grown to love.

“Why India?” my friends would ask. They knew the cruel, anti- gay laws in that country. I knew I had to go anyway. I felt an obligation to see what life must be like when society ignores you, constricts you like a tightly-wound sari. And subconsciously, I hoped that I might somehow change opinions. Yet when I arrived, I was scared to broach the subject, even with Tanmay, my 13-year-old smart but immature, host brother.

Only a pink, flimsy curtain separated our shared bedroom from the corridor, but nevertheless a sort of secret camaraderie developed during our nightly hushed conversation. We hoped Aji and Baba wouldn’t hear us. As Tanmay asked me which of the girls on my program I liked, I remembered the sleepovers of my childhood, during which the discussion of romance was dreaded and confusing. Now, I countered with ease. “Sophia is pretty,” I diplomatically replied, re- leasing the moment’s tension that only I perceived. I began to enjoy responding to his provocative questions, the answers to which he already knew, teaching him what were accepted topics of discussion within my culture. “What is dating?” “How are babies made?” I reveled in his squirming and shock when I gave a blunt, sex-ed-type answer. “Have you ever liked a girl?” Personal pronouns had never before been so treacherous, nor so masterfully avoided.

I found myself relishing the satisfaction of self-knowledge, the thrill of carrying a secret, the transition from a very private introvert to now a big brother for the second time in my life—candid about everything—except for one.

“He’s the biggest homosexual in my class,” he snorted, while discussing his classmates. I seized up, but I willed myself to speak, venturing into unsafe airspace.

“Tanmay, you shouldn’t make fun of gay people.” I sounded like a cheesy tolerance advertisement. “Did you know that they” (the safety of third-person!) “don’t choose to be gay?” He disagreed. We continued bantering in the first truly meaningful debate of my life, though the culture clash was played with blunted weapons. The notion of me having gay friends astounded him. The thought of telling him the truth, which for my own safety I couldn’t do, was appealing. Instead, I took a different risk as I exposed myself to the likelihood of disappointment. “Did you know that in some parts of America, two men or two women can get married?” He did. “What do you think about that?”

I expected him to disapprove and prepared to brush off the ignorance. His experience was far different than my own. I remembered how lucky I was to live in colorful Massachusetts.

After a long pause, he replied. “I think it’s good. As long as a gay person doesn’t have to marry a non-gay person.”

I remember being overwhelmed by the hope that must have spilled from our humid apartment into the street below. I believed then, as now, that I had done a tiny part in the global quest for justice, and I was proud. Or perhaps progress was to come without my actions. Yet the unexpectedness of his affirmation, coupled with the innocent humor of its qualification, made me smile as the night’s tropical rains descended on India. We would find out the morning’s weather soon enough.

Erik takes a risk in this essay, but he executes it quite effectively. He writes about two topics often recommended to approach with caution in a college essay: traveling abroad and coming out.

However, Erik puts a unique spin on these topics. He narrows in on one specific anecdote of his travel experience, with the location being critical to the worldly nature of the story and his understanding of cultural differences. Similarly, instead of talking solely about his coming out experience, Erik uses this significant aspect of his identity as a way of contextualizing his experiences in a different culture. His story is one about standing firm in his identity and changing a mindset of a young adult. That is where this essay truly shines.

These two topics work together seamlessly to tell a specific story that has shaped his future desires. However, one aspect Erik could have improved upon is letting the story do the telling at the end, as he does through most of his essay. For example, using phrases like “quest for world justice” can be seen as not only cliché but also as a sweeping statement and unrealistic goal.

Erik successfully started with a broad introduction at the beginning, zoomed into a certain anecdote, and zoomed back out at the end. With his captivating language and attention to detail, he successfully engages the reader while taking risks with his essay—risks that worked together to accomplish an effective essay.

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college essay examples lgbt

Topher began working at Stanford University’s Career Planning & Placement Center in 1998. His career spans 30 years. At Santa Clara University, he managed Bay Area, Los Angeles and Texas territories where he recruited, evaluated, and admitted athletes, freshman, and transfer applicants. At Ohlone College in Fremont, he served as Interim Director of Admission and Records. Since 2011, he has worked in test prep and college consulting, providing guidance to families preparing their children for college.

Topher sees applicants as they are, then inspires and motivates them to step up and into their potential. His clients have enjoyed extraordinary success at institutions ranging from selective Ivies to renowned public universities.

Never alone - Yale - Sample common application essay

Champion - yale - college essays that worked.

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LGBT College Essays Samples For Students

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Pariah Essay


Apart from the aesthetic value that literary works bequeath humankind, they are of great importance since they help in socio-cultural construction and analysis. The novels, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Pariah exemplify this reality.

Question 1: Analysing How the Concept of Intersectional Identity Is At Work

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Making The Invisible Visible: Fear And Disclosure Of Sexual Orientation At Work Essay Example

Research methods.

Hypothesis Gays, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) workers who disclose their sexual orientation get positive and negative reactions and responses from co-workers, which may or may not affect their attitude towards work.


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Peer review#1 In his article Meyer points out the day to day prejudices of the society against LGBT people. His aim is to outline the effects; these prejudices have on the lives of Homosexual people. In his article, he quoted many Homosexual people that he has interviewed. All of them admit that they have to live in a constant distress and fear because of their sexual orientation. He asks his reader to imagine the situation of a homosexual person who would have to live under constant reject because of his sexual preferences.

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LGBT Essays

Teaching and learning about lgbt historical figures.

IntroductionThe omission of information about the personal lives of significant people in history in textbooks, as well as, during class teachings is a major issue that…

LGBT Identification and Mental Issues 

Population and SampleThe population of this study will consist of individuals who play the role of identifying lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. The population is…

The Essence of Art in Culture Acceptance

After airing for years now, RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a platform for Emmy-winning host RuPaul and queens from all over the country to air the…

Effect of Legal, Safety, and Regulatory Requirements on HR

Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is crucial for any organization. These laws include providing equal opportunities to employees, preventing sexual harassment and providing safe working…


Executive SummaryMethamphetamine is a stimulant drug that works by stimulating the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. In this study, the short term effects of this drug…

Gay Bashing 

How the deviance occurred The case is a perfect example of the adverse negative consequences that are attached to homophobic practices such as gay bashing. What…

How are Teachers that are Homosexual in Australia Affected by…

Rationale“How are teachers that are homosexual in Australia affected by their sexuality?” is the question I will be discussing in this paper. The intended audience of…


AbstractRelationships between people of the same sex date back to even before civilization, to the Old Testament days to be more precise. Today, the number of…

How people in the LGBTQ community are being impacted by…

The social challenges and legal problems faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) people are more dominant in Russia compared to the non-LGBTQ people. Laws…

Quantitative Social Research Methods: Research Review

IntroductionQuantitative methods in research emphasize the need to use objective measurements and numerical analysis of data collected using various techniques to reach an informed position which…

LGBT in the Caribbean Culture (Jamaica)

LGBT is a short name referring to the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. LGBT is used in describing of distinct groups that are within the…

Gender queer and third gender identities

IntroductionThe purpose of this paper is to analyze the psychological concept associated with gender identity, a debate that has attracted concerns from different scholars in the…

Intersectionality in the LGBTQ community

The health care sector faces numerous challenges that influence the way people across all lifestyles access health care. It is evident that different factors play out…

Should transgender athletes compete in sports

The inclusion of transgender individuals in society is an aspect that some countries agree with while others disagree on their existence. While pro-transgender countries support the…

Queer temporalities: Waters’ The Night Watch

The Second World War provides an important historical backdrop to Sarah Waters’ (2006) novel, The Night Watch, as it relaxed the gender basis of employment and…

David Bowie and his contributions

Motivated by a completely more profound dynamic than most pop musicians, David Bowie possessed a unique universe of unusual sounds and perpetual vision. Unwilling to remain…

Homosexuality in adolescents

Adolescent Sexual Orientation and Suicide Risk: Evidence from a National StudyFor a long time, sexual orientation has remained a much-debated topic for young adults. The subject…

Same sex marriage exploratory essay

IntroductionThe same sex marriage subject has always led to divergent opinions across the world and it still remains a controversial issue that the world is yet…

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Our database contains dozens of top-quality LGBT essay examples for students at all academic levels.

How do you use the LGBT essay examples?

You can use them for inspiration or referencing purposes.

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Yes, it’s all available for free. These are open-source materials anyone can access. They don’t represent custom writing on your individual requirements.

It’s a common task in modern colleges to compose an argumentative essay about LGBT. The subject has gained publicity in educational establishments across the United States of America and worldwide, so writing on the right to gender expression and the LGBTQ community interests is a new norm. If you’re confused about the proper content for such essays or don’t know how to cover this gender identity subject ethically, welcome to our database. We have many essay examples about LGBT and can guide you on the way to writing a great paper without the risks of blame for gender discrimination.

How to Make an Outstanding LGBT Essay?

When composing an LGBT college essay, you’re stepping on the slippery slope of discussing the civil rights of gay people (such as gay marriage or access to high-quality health care) and the issues of sexual orientation. It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of biological determinism when discussing sex and gay identity. However, the modern world is much more diverse than it used to be several decades ago, with equal rights guaranteed to people of all sexual orientations, including the human rights and protection from health disparities guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. Thus, if you need to present an LGBT argumentative essay, it’s better to keep to an objective, unbiased line of argument and use only credible evidence to back your points.

One way to organize your LGBT research essay is to focus on the challenges that gay people still experience in different societies, such as mental health issues that remain unaddressed, unattended rights for marriage equality and child adoption, prejudice at work, and other limitations they withstand in different parts of the world. These facts can make your paper more research-based and academic.

Use Our Essay about LGBT for Writing Guidance

If you’re facing challenges with your LGBT research paper, it’s time to visit our database and get inspired by essay samples from qualified writers. Our writing samples can make the process of completing your LGBT persuasive essay way easier and faster.

Follow the Samples for Content Inspiration

Our examples are carefully crafted, following all college and university standards to give you the upper hand in the composition process. Use them as your models, and you’re guaranteed high grades for consistency and a good flow of ideas.

Use Tried and Tested Topics and Structure

We hire only experts in topic selection, so all essays have well-thought titles and cover the subject of the LGBT community from different perspectives.

Locate Original Sources for Your Work

Always pick top-quality sources for your works, as they determine your final grade. If you lack time for independent research, borrow some sources from our reference lists.

Test Our Writers’ Talents

All essays about LGBT are composed by seasoned writers who know much about the subject and can keep to an ethical, objective opinion on this matter. Thus, by studying what they write, you get a full picture of the quality and approach our experts take to custom writing orders.

Need More than an LGBT Essay Example?

Haven’t found what you needed? Still struggling with an essay on LGBT issues with no help in sight? We can address this problem with high-quality writing help on any subject or paper type you might have been assigned to. You may contact us saying, “Please write my book report on LGBT issues,” and you’ll get an appropriately qualified author assigned to the task in minutes.

College 101

Common app 1: background and identity.

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.

Being different is lonely. No one ever tells you, but it's true. You can be in a huge group of good friends and feel like a complete outsider if there's something about you that "others" you.

I first truly realized I was different when I was in middle school. That's when my classmates started holding hands and pairing off, and it was all anyone could ever talk about: Garrett's holding hands with Kristen, but only one week after holding hands with Frannie? What a jerk.

The beginning of adolescence is when it truly started for me.

I always knew I liked girls, but as people always tell me, "You never would have guessed it." I don't fit the mold. No one's ever screamed at me on the street because of my apparent sexuality. Coming out to my family was also very simple; my mom's brother is gay and so are a few cousins on my dad's side. Homosexuality is not a big issue in my family.

I'm very grateful for this, by the way. There are people whose journeys have been much more difficult and painful.

Even so, as any non-straight person will tell you, it's a lonely life. For everyone you meet, unless they fit a certain stereotype, it's assumed that they're straight. If they're not, it's rude or tactless to ask (it is a private matter, after all). It's a bit difficult to find someone to relate to, and even harder to find someone romantically compatible. No one in my immediate group of friends at the time was openly gay, so whenever the subject of dating came up (which was very often), I just checked out. I couldn't relate, and no one asked me to.

I'm not one to just complain and do nothing. Still, it took me a while to figure out what to do. For middle school and part of high school, I had myself convinced that it wasn't a big deal. It almost worked.

Finally, in my sophomore year of high school, I joined the Gay-Straight Alliance. My high school was much bigger than my middle school, so I met a lot of other people like me. From there, I learned about our city's Queer Center, where I met even more people like me. This is where I met my first girlfriend. I joined a Chicano Rights group with her, because being a Chicana is something I can't relate to with her. For once, I was part of the majority in a group of minorities.

I'm not a sociologist or a psychologist (I've only taken AP Psych). Still, from what I've observed, humans are naturally social. We need to interact with people. Feeling alone is horrible, and depending on the extent of isolation, it can also be traumatizing. This is why communities are so important. Being a part of a community of people saved me.

Why This Essay Works

This essay covers a young person's journey from emotional loneliness to a sense of belonging. Her sexual orientation is part of her identity, but it's not the focus of the essay. Being a lesbian could have been switched out with anything else that would make someone a minority: being a person of color, being trans, having a disability, etc.

We also see that she steps back when she needs to. She discusses her very fortunate situation with her family and with the public; she's never been bullied or targeted because of her sexual orientation. Immediately after, she checks her privilege by saying how grateful she is.

Also, in the concluding paragraph, she makes a claim about the way humans are. She acknowledges that she's not an expert, but her claim isn't that far off anyway.

In the end, this personal statement is something we can all relate to: Being different can be pretty lonely. This is why niche communities are important.

This essay's a little on the short side, but the message is short, sweet, and to the point, so it works.

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College Essay About Being Gay

Occupational therapist personal statement.

My love for sports, fitness and wellness has developed my inspiration for helping others by becoming an Occupational Therapist. Throughout the years, I have gotten the chance to experience different people healing with the tremendous help of someone working in this profession. I enjoy that part of Occupational

ISU Personal Statement

I’m currently a physical education major with an emphasis in exercise science. I found my passion for this field in my high school sports medicine program. I was a student athletic training aide all three years of high school and was vice president of my school’s chapter of National Honor Society of Sports Medicine. I

Anthropology Interview Paper

I love the one on one aspect of nursing or medicine, which is what I loved about teaching. If I go into medicine, I want to go into osteology. Bones and the way they work is fascinating to me. The way a bone looks like a piece of coral, and the way they break, that’s something I want to study for the rest of my life. I personally have early onset osteoporosis due to my stomach issues, lactose intolerance, and having a history of anorexia nervosa all combine to weaken my bones.

A Career As A Physical Therapy Technician

I have known for years that I wanted to work in the realm of health science. I knew that I wanted to do something in sports medicine. When I took a deeper look into sports medicine I learned that there are many areas of sports medicine that you can get licensed in and that the sports medicine part would be a specialty to attach to it. So I took the list as started to look through it at each job that plays an affect in the sport medicine area. I narrowed in on Physical Therapy and then took the time to do some shadowing in it for my senior study.

Nfl Career Goals

And if I could make it in to the national football league (NFL) I will have beaten one of my most difficult challenges. Being a physical therapist (PT) would also be very cool because I have always amazed by the body and how it works and I also like

Gay Identity Essay

We sometimes find ourself contemplating about who we are and what do we want in our life. As a gay man I have found myself stuck in many places, this is totally normal. We all try to find that perfect life but sometimes it involves barriers. Being wrong and owning up to what you want in life makes the ride easier. Thus being said, I would like to introduce myself with memories that shaped who I am and the struggles that I’ve achieved.

Being Gay Is Wrong Essay

I begin my sophomore year with an unwavering sense of pride and indisposition to failure. I get into a lot of arguments, something I’ve become used to since I’ve begun high school. It gets to the point where my voice becomes hoarse, my face reddens, and my hands tremble. I’d do anything to get people to see my point of view as right. Recently becoming aware of the issues that pervade our society, I just want to do anything to make sure everyone becomes aware of these issues as well.

Sexual Orientation And Identity Essay

In an issue from the ACLU, conducted a survey on whether they should add sexual orientation and identity to school policies. Whether this matter would prohibit students from attending school or protecting them, in a section in the student code of conduct. This article illustrated an opinion as to fact of evidence. Questioning staff members and school teachers’ opinion on applying this concept. This opinion base, type of argument, is strong by using reports and descriptions while asking the questions.

Persuasive Essay On Gay Rights

To most ears, it probably sounds inoffensive. A little outdated and clinical, perhaps, but harmless enough: homosexual. But that five-syllable word has never been more loaded, more deliberately used and, to the ears of many gays and lesbians, more permissiveness. Homosexual’ is the ring of ‘colored’ now, in the way your grandmother might have used that term, except that it hasn’t been recover in the same way. Consider the following phrases: homosexual community, homosexual activist, homosexual marriage.

Persuasive Essay On Gay Adoption

Quotes: "I want you to know that I think my family is great, so why don't you people just stop all this hate? I know that love comes right from the heart. My parents taught me love from the start. "-Hannah Jurs-Allen, fifth-grader, daughter of lesbian parents.

Gay Definition Essay

The English language can be a very complex and difficult language to understand, as many words have several different meanings. Words evolve with time as people evolve, as one meaning can become three, or can disappear altogether. The word gay is an excellent example of this. In the last century or so, the word gay has evolved quite a bit. It now has a very negative connotation to many who use it, in a harsh contrast to its original positive connotation and happy implications.

Gay rights has been an on-going movement since the 1970s. Until recently, on June 28, 2015 they have had a huge “victory”. This was when a new law was passed by the Supreme Court. The United States of America now validates and recognizes same-sex marriage. Therefore, giving them civil rights like any other ordinary couple.

Essay On Pro Gay Community

Also, contrary to popular belief, being raised by gay parents will have no different effect on a child than being raised by straight parents. In society today, although same sex relations are legal in the United States, many people are still very submissive to what others think of them and if they will be accepted, so they choose to keep their true selves hidden. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), negative attitudes

Personal Narrative Essay On Being Gay

I, like many people in the LGBTQ community, struggled with this notion of "being gay". I mean after all I  was in a relationship with a great guy for nearly two years. We will call him Matthew.   We said I love you, we held hands, and he was my best friend.

Ask just about any random person on the street if they believe in granting equal rights for homosexuals, and they will say yes. They will agree that homosexuals, or “gays,” should have the same rights that heterosexuals do such as housing, government benefits, jobs, and equal protection of the law. Then the conversation turns to the debate of gay marriage, and all talk of equality stops dead in its tracks. Why is there so much passion and hate against the legalization of same-sex marriage? After the movement for equal rights kicked off in the 1970’s, the gay community created pride festivals and PFLAG conventions, bringing more and more attention to the cause.

More about College Essay About Being Gay

  • Main content

Here's the powerful essay that got a high school senior into all 8 Ivy League schools

High school senior Victor Agbafe got into every college he applied to — including all eight Ivy League schools.

"If you look at the acceptance rates of these schools, it's just so difficult to get into even one," he said. "So I would have been happy at any one of them."

The 17-year-old plans to become a neurosurgeon after he finishes college and medical school, eventually going into public policy. To this end, Agbafe said he was looking for a school with strong government, economics, and science programs.

Agbafe has graciously shared his Common Application essay with us, which we've reprinted in full below:

Why I Refuse to be Silent

"Wow I thought black people are supposed to be scary." This honest and uncensored statement that a little girl recanted as I recited my biographical speech on Florence Nightingale clothed in the white sheets that represented Ms. Nightingale's pure heart tore down my dignity and self-esteem to shreds like a machete chopping off the foundation of a plant. Nevertheless, these words instilled a spark in me to relentlessly stand up for others that are unjustly judged.

Many years later, I was prompted to act when my friend grumbled about how the Day of Silence for LGBTQ individuals that I and some members of the diversity club initiated was garbage. At first I ignored him, but then as I overheard him tell his likeminded friend that he would "never have a college roommate who was gay," that very spark in me was lit and I felt morally obligated to challenge this prejudiced line of thinking.

I began to ask him if he would really refuse to have a roommate who was gay. As our conversation escalated, his face turned red, my heart beat faster, and our voices grew louder. My friend felt that one couldn't be a devout Catholic like myself and yet support gay marriage. I countered by attacking his Biblical argument that gay marriage is a moral abomination with my belief that Christianity should be about love and acceptance of others. After a drawn-out argument in which I constantly refuted my friends points, I remembered that inner beat-down I had suffered many years ago that had really triggered my confrontational stance. This was about a whole lot more than a logical or ethical argument, this was about an attack on my human rights.

I don't know what it feels like to be gay, bisexual, or transgender, but I do know what it is like to have a facade of inferiority hang over me because I look "scary." I know how worthless it is to pat the victim on the back or assure him in times of privacy that "it doesn't matter what she thinks." This applies even in the most intimate of settings as I find my friend is not the only one I must confront on such issues but also my own personal heroes. "But granny regardless of what the bible says isn't the struggle for gay rights just like the struggle for racial equality?" I know that it may seem wrong to challenge those that have unconditionally loved and taken care of you, but I must do so in order to ensure that others can feel this same love from all people.

I speak up because when one sees an injustice and just shrugs one's shoulder it is just like promoting it. We live in a society of interdependence in which we must be allies for each other in all social spheres for the continual progress of society as a whole. If one analyzes any prolonged societal injustice against any social group in history, one will see that a critical component in its persistence was the silent approval of the unaffected. I will admit that it can be very confusing at times to stand up for others, especially when it involves challenging ideal systems I've always considered absolute or people I look up to. But in order to reap the vast benefits of the great diversity around us we must take to heart the sorrows of our fellow human-being and make them our own.

college essay examples lgbt

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college essay examples lgbt

  • College Application

College Diversity Essay Examples

College Diversity Essay Examples

Institutions of higher learning want to recognize diversity and support students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, making college diversity essay examples more relevant than ever. Your diversity secondary essay will make a big difference in your application, and looking at expertly written essays will help you immensely.

We at BeMo believe that everybody deserves a fair and equal shot at higher education, which is why it is important to us to make sure that persons from underrepresented backgrounds aren’t being left behind.

To that end, we are going to show several examples of diversity essays, with prompts selected from different educational institutions, in addition to giving you general expert college essay tips and a section on how to approach diversity essays specifically.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 11 min read

Essay examples.

These essay prompts are taken from various schools as well as the Common App*, and each one will deal with a different kind of diversity. Some of these prompts remark directly on diversity, while others are simply open, or hint at a connection.

*The Common Application is a centralized system used by many schools to streamline the application process.

NYU Supplemental Essay Example (Common App)

Prompt: “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.”

Word limit: 250-650 words. Aim for about 500 words.

The labels that I bear are hung from me like branches on a tree: disruptive, energetic, creative, loud, fun, easily distracted, clever, a space cadet, a problem … and that tree has roots called ADHD. The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder made a lot of sense when it was handed down. I was diagnosed later than other children, probably owing to my sex, which is female; people with ADHD who are female often present in different ways from our male counterparts and are just as often missed by psychiatrists.

Over the years, these labels served as either a badge or a bludgeon, keeping me from certain activities, ruining friendships, or becoming elements of my character that I love about myself and have brought me closer to people I care about. Every trait is a double-edged sword.

The years that brought me to where I am now have been strange and uneven. I had a happy childhood, even if I was a “handful” for my parents. As I grew and grew in awareness of how I could be a problem, I developed anxiety over behavior I simply couldn’t control. With the diagnosis, I received relief, and yet, soon I was thinking of myself as broken, and I quickly attributed every setback to my neurological condition.

I owe much to my ADHD. I have found my paintbrushes to be superb catalysts for the cornucopia of ideas in my mind. I have always known how to have a great time, and my boundless energy has contributed to winning several medals while playing basketball.

My ADHD owes much to me, too. I have received several cards in basketball because I got “agitated.” My grades throughout elementary school – before I had good coping mechanisms and medications – look like yo-yos. Of course, I also have social troubles that I lay at the feet of my brain being wrong.

I have a wrong brain. I am wrong-brained. Imagine carrying that around as a child or as a teenager. I had to.

Only recently did I change my wrong-mind to a right-mind. The way I did it was simple: I stopped thinking of myself as having a brain that was wrong. I have a brain that is different. It supplies me with hurdles and the ability to leap over those hurdles. Sometimes I need extra help, but who doesn’t in one way or another? 

These days, I don’t even like to think of my ADHD as a “neurological condition,” because I just want to feel like it’s a part of me, and of course, it is.

I have recently been volunteering at a mental health resource center, trying to spread that worldview. I believe that it is important to help people with different minds. Part of how we need to do that is by normalizing being abnormal. We are all strange and different. My version of difference happens to be in my mind, and it has a label. So, let’s all be kind and generous to each other and our wonderful, divergent differences.

Prompt: “Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.”

Word limit: This particular prompt from Harvard is not given a word limit, but we recommend you aim for about 600 words.

Every morning I ride through the park on my bicycle, past a group of yoga practitioners who are connecting with nature in their trendy yoga pants. They're being taught by a tranquil-faced twenty-something with an asymmetrical haircut and a smart phone playing nature sounds. Saying “Namaste,” before rushing home to take the kids to school, they’ll probably buy flavored macchiatos on the way.

I’m not offended, although as a Hindu I have every right to be; I just think that they are probably missing the point of something very profound and important to me. I was taught yoga by my grandfather, who I always thought looked one hundred years old, no matter what he really was.

He would get me up at dawn, and I would complain, but doing the poses did awaken me, stretch my limbs, and move me into a more centered place. Most importantly, he taught me to hold on to that centered place for the rest of the day, to make sure that I carried my yoga with me.

I did carry it with me, too, past shops selling incense and yoga mats, past music stores with baby boomer rock stars who played sitar as a fad, and past a thousand other places that reminded me that my culture was a commodity, my religion a self-help rubber stamp. Lately, it has been my bicycle ride through the park taking me past this yoga group, who I don’t want to disparage too much, because maybe some of them are taking it seriously, but it doesn’t look that way, and it really doesn’t feel that way.

Looking for more tips? Check out the infographic below:

Prompt: “In 20XX, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America - a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.”

Word limit: 400 words, max.

I’m angry and I’m tired of pretending otherwise. There have been too many riots, too many marches, too many people shouting into uncaring ears when Black people get treated the way we do. How many dead fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters have to move from the front page of the news to the bottom of the social media feed before we get recognized and listened to. I just want to be heard. I have given up on the idea of waking up in a world where I am not afraid, angry, and weary. Maybe that world is for my grandkids, or my great-grandkids, but not me.

My mother and my father, my aunts and uncles, they were all very active in the protests – often at the front of the line – and they did not come through unscathed. They had bruises and blood spilt, they had broken bones. I know they will return to that battlefield, to protest peacefully until they cannot maintain that rank any longer. From these noble people I received my sense of righteous anger. But I also got good advice on how to use it well.

They know that protests are one thing, but action is another, and my mind has been geared toward law school for some time now, because I wanted to bring about the major changes that are needed for our society to move on. So, in addition to protests, I have been taking pre-law courses, and I have acquired a part-time job in the law firm where my uncle works, and while it is a small, office job, I get to spend a lot of time with my uncle learning about how to bring positive change by fighting big and little battles. Of course, he is also showing me how to fight those battles.

Anger alone isn’t going to settle anything, which is why I believe in making a better world with my actions and rhetoric. But I am still frustrated and furious, and while I am trying to find a hopeful place to get to, I’ll repeat that I don’t think we’ll see the better world I want. Maybe our grandkids, but not us. Hold on to that, get angry, and join me in pushing forward for them.

Princeton Supplemental Essay Example

Prompt: “At Princeton, we value diverse perspectives and the ability to have respectful dialogue about difficult issues. Share a time when you had a conversation with a person or a group of people about a difficult topic. What insight did you gain, and how would you incorporate that knowledge into your thinking in the future?”

Word limit: 250 words

Coming out was harder than I thought it would be. In the months previous, when I knew that I was gay, and when I knew that I wanted to tell my family, I was worried about their reactions. I hoped that they would be supportive, and I suspected that they would be, but it wasn’t just the event that was difficult, it was the next day and the day after that.

One conversation would have been painful but quick, like the proverbial bandage being ripped off. But this was interminable and killing me with kindness. My parents asked little questions or made showy gestures about caring in the days that followed, and the experience wound up lasting several months.

The insight I gained is that we think of life in terms of gateposts and events, but all things take time, and most have a build-up and cool-down surrounding them. Expecting to have something momentous take place in one afternoon was naïve.

Moving forward, I understand that the real problem was thinking of this as an event at all, and it’s not, it’s just who I am, which means I carry it around with me and I have no other recourse. I believe this will serve me well, because it will help me have ongoing conversations instead of quick talks that I wrap up and put away.

That’s better; my life is not a series of tough moments, it is ongoing.

The main thing to do with a diversity essay is to remain focused. First, focus on your subject, and keep in mind that the subject isn’t actually “diversity.” That sounds weird, but remember that this is always about you and the institution you’re applying to. They want to hear about your life, your experiences, and how you connect with their program.

To that end, make sure that you talk about your experiences beyond a general push for diversity. Of course, it’s easy to get behind ideas that are inclusive, but you have a central purpose here.

The second focus is to keep yourself on target with what kind of diversity you’re talking about. You can bring in multiple ways you fit the description of “diverse,” but your essay may be a fairly short one, so focus on one central theme or idea.

There are many different ways that you can be diverse or have a worldview that fits these prompts. Diversity is often thought of in terms of race, sexuality, and gender, but it could also mean neurodivergence, living with a disability, sex, religion, or nationality. With most prompts, diversity could be anything that sets you apart, such as growing up in unusual circumstances. Perhaps you moved a lot as a child, grew up on a military base, or were raised in the foster care system. Before assuming that diversity essays don’t apply to you, check the exact wording of the prompt and really contemplate your background.

Many essays ask about your experiences with diversity, so you might have a friend or relative who fits one or more of these categories; if you have a personal connection and experience with that person, you can speak to that in an essay.

Exploring your diversity, or your experiences with diversity, is the key to success in writing your own diversity essay. Dig deep and share your genuine experiences. The operative word here is “genuine”: do not, under any circumstances, fake this essay. Any falsehood in an application is unacceptable, and co-opting another underrepresented group’s diversity is disrespectful. There is enough room in most prompts to account for your particular branch of diversity without pretending to be someone else.

Want to review more advice for college essays? Take a look at this video:

Essay Writing Tips

When we speak more generally, not just of diversity essays in particular, but with respect to how to write a college essay , most of the rules are going to be more or less the same as with other prompts.

Of course, your approach to how to start a college essay , whether specific to the diversity prompts or not, remains the same: open with your “hook,” the line that snares any reader, ideally even ones who aren’t on the admissions committee. If you open well, you grab your reader’s attention and bring them along for the ride.

After that, follow basic essay structure, including a body to explore your ideas and a conclusion to wrap up.

One way to polish your essay is to make sure that your paragraphs transition nicely into one another – pay extra attention to the flow of your material. Another elite polish tip is to mirror your opening line with your closing, at least in terms of fulfilling the promise of whatever your opening line spoke of.

Inclusion is of maximal importance. Get yourself recognized at your top-choice school with our tips and sample college essays . By working with these prompts, and within the application streams for underrepresented students, you are giving yourself the agency to move forward into a more diverse future.

Everything depends on the individual school’s prompt. If the prompt is mandatory, you write the essay, even if you only have an outsider’s connection. Many schools have optional diversity essays, or reserve them for students from certain backgrounds. In those cases, only write the essay if you feel it is appropriate for you to do so. This might change based on the wording of the prompt. Some prompts invite students with “connections” to diverse communities to respond, which means that you might not be a member of an underrepresented community, but you could be a supporter, activist, or close friend or family member of those communities. Still other prompts cast a wide net for potential types of diversity, which means you might fit into one based on your experiences, even if you don’t immediately think of yourself as fitting in.

If the essay prompt applies to you, or if it is mandatory, write the essay.

Not necessarily. Obviously, if the essay is optional and does not apply to you, your chances remain the same. However, many institutions have programs for underrepresented students, and benefitting from them may depend on writing a diversity statement. In other words, it’s required. In general, we recommend that you take every opportunity offered to make your application stand out, and producing a thoughtful diversity statement or optional essay is an effective way to do that.

As listed above, there are many possibilities. Race, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, and sex are some of the categories you might fit into which apply to these essays. If you don’t fit into those categories, you might still be considered diverse based on any experience which sets you apart and gives you a unique background, life, or circumstance, which means that most diversity prompts have a very wide net.

Essays are typically only seen by admissions committees. If the institution wants to use your essay as an example essay, they would need to ask you first. Sharing your essay would require permission.

If you are particularly worried, contact your school and ask about their confidentiality policies, or specifically ask that they do not disclose your essay’s contents.

Try not to worry; these programs are set up for people like you, and the administrations are understanding and sympathetic to your situation. They certainly do not want to hurt you.

You just have to share your authentic connection with diversity. If you have negative emotions or experiences tied to that aspect of yourself, of course you are allowed to share them. Speaking to the frustration, anger, anxiety, and other debilitating emotions around racial violence, for example, is not off the table. You highlight yourself, your diversity, and your connection to the school – that’s it. Don’t feel like you need to hide your personal experiences to play nice or seem “positive.”

No, some do not. Most have essays geared toward your background generally, which can often provide an opportunity to talk about your diversity, but it would not be required. Keep in mind that more general background essays, like personal statements or the near-ubiquitous, “Why this school?” essays, will need more focus on academics or career goals. Diversity essays can be more focused on your own personal experiences.

All admissions essays are personal to some degree. Diversity essays will touch on the essence of yourself, so they will be more personal than a lot of others. Getting personal will also help to show the admissions committee who you really are and why you really need to attend their institution.

Most of the time, yes. Many prompts are open-ended and would allow you to bring that aspect of yourself forward - in your personal statement, for instance. Some application processes, such as the Common or Coalition Applications, have a prompt that allows you to select your own topic.

Definitely write a diversity essay if you believe that is the best way to show your unique individuality and how you will add to the fabric of the school to which you are applying.

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18 UCLA Essays That Worked (and Why) for 2023

UCLA Essay Examples

Do you want to write strong essays that'll help get you into UCLA?

In this article, you'll read and learn from 18 essays written by students who got recently accepted into UCLA and see how they did it.

If you're trying to get into the University of California, Los Angeles, these essays are a valuable resource and give you a peek into UCLA admissions.

Whether you're a student or parent of an applicant, you'll see what to do—and what not to do—when writing your UC essays.

How important are the UCLA essays?

And as of 2022, the UC system no longer uses your SAT and ACT scores to decide whether or not to admit students.

With no more test scores, that means your UC essays are even more important for your application. Besides your grades (GPA) and coursework, your essays are the most influential factor for your UC admissions.

Plus, UCLA is the most applied to school in the world, with well over 100,000 applicants each year. The University of California-Los Angeles acceptance rate is lower each year, which makes your essays even more important.

Since your UC essays matter so much, it's important to get them right.

What are the UC Personal Insight Question Prompts for 2022-23?

It's a mistake to think of the UC Personal Insight Questions (PIQs) as typical essays you'd write for a class.

Rather, the PIQs are a set of eight open-ended questions asked by the UC app. You must choose exactly four questions to respond to, and each response should be no more than 350 words.

Let's go over the UC Personal Insight Question prompts:

  • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  • What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  • Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  • Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  • Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
  • What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  • Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

It can be helpful to see how other students responded to the UC Personal Insight Questions.

And since UCLA is one of the hardest UC's to get into, along with UC Berkeley , students that get accepted tend to write outstanding essay responses to the PIQs.

18 UCLA Personal Insight Question Examples

Here are the 18 best UCLA accepted essays that worked written by accepted students for each Personal Insight Question prompt #1-8.

  • UCLA Example Essay #1
  • UCLA Example Essay #2
  • UCLA Example Essay #3: Violin
  • UCLA Example Essay #4

UCLA Example Essay #5: Team Player

  • UCLA Example Essay #6: Flute
  • UCLA Example Essay #7: Optimism
  • UCLA Example Essay #8
  • UCLA Example Essay #9
  • UCLA Example Essay #10
  • UCLA Example Essay #11
  • UCLA Example Essay #12

UCLA Example Essay #13: Computer Science

Ucla example essay #14: korean big toes.

  • UCLA Example Essay #15

UCLA Example Essay #16: LGBT

  • UCLA Example Essay #17

UCLA Example Essay #18: Being Short

Ucla example essay #1: orchestra leadership.

UC PIQ #1: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. (350 words max)

In my freshman year of high school, I had enrolled in the String Orchestra Advanced Class which was mixed in with the Beginning class. I was the only person with experience, seven years in the Violin at the time, while most of the students in the class were beginners. I got class elected, then re-elected as President my Freshman and Sophomore years, and was First Violin, then First Viola Chair.

My first year consisted of myself and the instructor teaching the basics of each instrument. Learning a new instrument is frustrating, and there were times where older students in the class would get frustrated and unhappy that a Freshman knew more than they did.

As a leader I had to make sure I did not keep a separation between myself and my classmates. Therefore, my Sophomore year, I changed my instrument to the Viola.

By showing my classmates that I too was a beginner, and that I too had to learn because I had a new instrument -inspired the class to learn as well. My classmates no longer saw me as someone who told people to practice and not give up, yet did not have to practice or struggle themselves, but instead, as someone who was there practicing, and struggling along with them.

The Orchestra program at my school started my Freshman year as an experimental class, but the school ended the class after my Sophomore year. Though unfortunate, in the two years of its existence, my classmates went from being novices, to performers, where in the last year of the program, we performed many times for school events and finally in an orchestra conference in my Sophomore year, where judges praised our Orchestra's technique and cohesiveness.

After the class got cut, many of my classmates continued to pursue music independently, or in the District Orchestra. It is a wonderful feeling for me to see my former classmates -to this day- performing, and even teaching others, knowing that I was there when their journeys in music first began, and I look forward to seeing their musical pursuits in the future.

Why This Essay Works:

  • Tells a Story: Gives context and explains how you got this leadership position. By explaining a backstory, it reveals your motivations and what drives you.
  • Shows Takeaways and Lessons Learned: It's not enough to just talk about your achievements. Admissions officers are more interested in why they matter to you, and how you had an impact on others.

What They Might Improve:

  • Fix Capitalization: It's not necessary to capitalize improper nouns like "violin", "viola", and "orchestra".
  • Sentence Flow: Make sure your sentences aren't too long and don't have unnecessary breaks, which can interrupt the flow.

UCLA Example Essay #2: Volunteer Leadership

My group and I spent a total of seven hours preparing five hundred bagged lunches for the extensive homeless community at Oakland. Out of all the obstacles that could have halted our progress, rain was the last thing on our minds. We were lucky enough to distribute three hundred lunches before the rain began to relentlessly pour down on us. There were a few hours left of daylight before we would be able to eat Iftar for Ramadan, so, an overwhelming majority of our group wanted to call it a day. However, there was still a large number of unsheltered and hungry homeless people throughout the city, and I could not bear to let all that food go to waste. So, I raced to one of our nearest vans, grabbed a bullhorn, and yelled to gather the attention of as many people as possible. I instructed them to form lines in front of our eleven vans in order to take everybody to the nearest homeless shelters with the promise of food and entertainment. We went to six other heavily concentrated areas to do the same thing, and within just five hours, nearly five hundred homeless individuals were transported.

This event is one of the dozens of community service projects I’ve performed in my role as vice-president of the youth faction of the Sudanese Association of Northern California (SANC). This Oakland food drive has left me with a sense of clarity of what it takes to get a project, event, or any other endeavor accomplished. The food drive was obviously a success, but what made this particularly memorable is the email the president of SANC sent me the following day: “You have a keen ability to synthesize and communicate anything quickly and effectively.” I realized the explicit connection between my forensics (speech and debate) career and my community service: the power that I carry in my voice can motivate others to do good. I have tried to apply this insight into each new endeavor since.

  • Specific with Numbers: Use exact numbers whenever you can to create authenticity and make it realistic. In this essay, saying "three hundred" lunches makes things concrete.
  • Connects to Academic Interests: Show how your past leadership achievements relate to what you want to do in college.
  • Stronger Conclusion: Make sure your conclusion isn't vague and has a concrete takeaway. Don't just use words like "this insight". Rather, rephrase that insight or draw a new idea from it.
  • Sentence Structure: Having too long of sentences is a common mistake students make. Instead, splitting up complex sentences can make it easier to read.

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UCLA Example Essay #3: Violin Creative Side

UC PIQ #2: Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. (350 words max)

I express my creative side by playing the violin and other musical instruments. Ever since I was a younger child, music had always been a part of my life. The first instrument I remember playing is the piano when I was four years old. My school had a music program, so I went and learned how to read music and play the Recorder. Though it was a simple instrument, it was to prepare us students for the more complex instruments that we could choose to play after completing the Recorder lessons.

I took this class all of first grade, and in second grade I was ready to choose the instrument I wanted to specialize in. I chose the Violin, and now -ten years later- I am still playing it. Throughout the years I have learned to play other instruments as well, such as the Piano, Trumpet, Viola, and more. During that time I have also been able to play those instruments in different styles of music.

From second to seventh grade, I played the Violin and sung in my elementary school district's Mariachi and my middle school's Mariachi even when I did not know how to speak Spanish. I have been playing the Violin at my church's choir almost every Sunday since Seventh grade. I played the Violin and Viola in my high school's Orchestra class in Freshman and Sophomore year, and since my Junior year I have played the trumpet in my school's Jazz Band and Trumpet Choir.

My siblings have also been inspired to be creative musically, and together we perform at our church and other places, and music has become an important part in their lives as well.

Throughout my life I have been able to express my love for music in many different ways. Whether through playing with a group, doing a solo in front of an audience, composing my own music, or teaching my younger siblings how to read and play music the way I was taught many years ago, music has always been a large way that I could express my creative side.

  • Clearly Answers Prompt: For UC essays, being straightforward is not a bad thing. This essay starts off by clearly answering the prompt, before elaborating further.
  • Fix Capitalization: It's not necessary to capitalize improper nouns like "freshman" and "sophomore". An easy fix is to only capitalize proper nouns, like names of people and places.
  • Explain What's Meaningful: Admissions officers want to know more than just "what you did," but also why it was meaningful to you. Try to focus on the impact of your achievements more than just what you did.

UCLA Example Essay #4: Improvised Comedy Creative Side

I was brought into this world with an overactive imagination and an absence of siblings. My abundance of boredom and lack of playmates was solved by creating multiple characters, drawing them, and pretending to be them. When I joined theater my freshman year, I quickly fell in love because it brought me back to that childhood innocence of carelessly being someone else It was an opportunity to evaluate how I could incorporate my personality, experiences, and charisma into a character and to turn my visual concepts into a reality through doing makeup.

I was also introduced to improvised comedy. where I presented my witty and quirky side. On the other hand, working with a cast and crew was something I was unaccustomed to. but I soon saw myself becoming inspired by the surrounding creativity of others. Whether we were doing a dramatic or comedic play, we worked together to evoke an emotional response from the audience. It’s an honor to see people laugh and cry during our performances because I've connected with hundreds of people by putting my heart on a stage. In contrast, painting has been a private indulgence. Every feeling and thought trapped inside becomes free on that canvas into a beautiful visual creation. Like my mood, my paintings aren't uniform and consistent; they range from iridescent beaches to scattered splotches, yet every stroke, color. and mistake had a reason.

As my only patron, my mom couldn't always afford painting supplies, so occasionally I had to improvise with tools like spoons, paper towels, and erasers. Regardless of the tools I was using, my paintings were reflection of myself. The progression of my work is an exhibit of my struggles, success, and how I became who I am today. Painting is not about the finished product; it's about the journey and the lessons I've learned to get there. My creativity is not limited to the arts, but is embedded my appearance, mindset, and career path in solving mental health issues. Creativity, to me, is putting bits and pieces of myself into doing what I love.

  • Strong First Sentence: Starting off with interesting ideas is the best way to get the reader hooked. It doesn't need to be complicated, but find your most interesting idea and start there.
  • Connects Multiple Extracurriculars: Finding multiple examples in your life to explain your answer can make your essay stronger. Rather than focusing on just one activity, how do your activites relate with a common theme?
  • Great Conclusion: A strong conclusion is often one that expands on your ideas or connects to something more universal. Try restating your main idea and add a twist or expand on it.
  • Make Each Paragraph Distinct: Each paragraph should have one central idea or topic. It's better to split up your essay into many paragraphs because it makes it easier for the reader and better organized.

UC PIQ #3: What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? (350 words max)

My greatest talent would be relating to and inspiring others. Throughout my time in school I have demonstrated that talent by becoming a leader where I was trusted by my teachers and peers. It began in 5th grade when I was voted to become Student Council for my class, where my peers knew that I related well with them and that I would do my best to use my position to fix their issues.

In middle school, I became the Knowledge Bowl team Captain. There was a new coach, so the program was small, about five students. There were many students who wanted to join the team but felt that they were not "smart enough" to join. I recognized this and encouraged those students to join and they succeeded. By the end of the year, our team was 3rd in the district overall statistically standing, our highest ranking in a while.

In high school I joined JROTC as a Freshman, and I became a Platoon Sergeant my Junior year. My job for the semester was to teach and motivate cadets in the program. Some cadets did not do well with authority, and felt attacked when other class leaders would be assertive. As a leader I took a different approach, and related to my cadets. My platoon was constantly noted as being a well-rounded platoon by our instructors, and I received the Non-Commisioned Officer Leadership Award.

In Academic League, motivation was key to our team's success. Sometimes personal problems would affect a member of the team, so I showed them I could relate to their struggles and still believe in their ability to help the team. In times when we would be losing in a match, I would inspire the team to keep pushing on, and to remain positive. That year our team placed 5th in the district -again a highest ranking in a while- and I was voted as "Most Inspirational" by the team.

Throughout the years, relating to and inspiring others has been a skill that has allowed me to make great connections with so many people.

  • Uses Multiple Examples: Backing up your answer with various examples from your life makes your case stronger.
  • Unique Take: Rather than thinking of a skill in the literal sense, this author uses a more abstract skill. Sharing your unique perspective is key to having interesting ideas.
  • Show Why It Matters: In addition to explaining your greatest skill or talent, you should tell why it is meaningful. What are the takeaways and how will you use this skill going forward in college?

UCLA Example Essay #6: Flute Greatest Talent

Just when we think we figured things out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. The universe is funny like that. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.

When I first started playing flute, I probably looked like a pufferfish choking on a clump of wasabi, but that didn't matter. Blasting deep breaths into my flute, I blew voraciously as I tried to produce a B-flat; but all I could muster was a raspy whistle.

6 years later, I was filled with pride knowing that I had worked hard enough to be selected as the concert soloist for the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County. My moment had arrived; I stand center-stage and begin Chaminade's Concertino Op. 107. Recognizing the minor scales and arpeggios, my fingers glide through the measures with absolute certainty; and with each successive measure, my breathing, tone, and articulation seemed to increasingly synchronize. Before long, the piece came to an end. Holding the D-natural farmada as long I could, I let the note fade into submission and lowered my flute. Taking a bow, I reveled in the magnitude of my hard work.

As I grew older, it became evident that I would need orthodontics and jaw reduction surgeries. With my face full of rubber and metal, I couldn't form a tight enough valve to sustain notes. I was officially back to square one. The following months were brutal, I had to put away Tchaikovsky and go back to the basics; but my effort was genuine and I gradually regained my ability to play.

Today, I consider playing flute my greatest skill. Not because I can play complex scales or win competitions, but, instead, because through the horrors of braces, learning how to double-tongue, and impossibly fast measures, I never gave up. Playing flute had crafted in me the relentless determination which I've exhibited over the past 8 years. I may not know what curveballs life will pitch to me next, but I have confidence knowing I will persevere regardless of the circumstances.

  • Strong Hook: Use your best idea at the start to immediately make the reader interested. First impressions matter, and by having a compelling first paragraph, the tone of your essay is immediately better.
  • Specific in Naming Things: Say the names of groups, places, and other things whenever you can. Being specific whenever possible makes you seem more relatable and makes your essay more interesting.

UCLA Example Essay #7: Optimism Greatest Skill

Life can be an overwhelming obstacle course, but my ability to get over any bump with a smile on my face has been my greatest strength. Maintaining an optimistic outlook has introduced me to new opportunities, made me a better leader, and helped me get through everyday life. Although my determination to get back up was built by a couple scrapes and falls. I learned about the impact of a positive attitude on others through my experience on the tennis team.

The motivation and bond my team had because of the encouragement and support from our captains has influenced my approach to interacting with others. For instance, while working with my peers, I always praise them for the effort that they put in and patiently help them. When applying this to class projects and theater productions, I saw an improvement on our performance and our accomplishments felt more satisfying and meaningful. My positive attitude is also influential during my job at a convalescent home. As an activities assistant, my objective is to get residents to participate in activities and to make them fun.

At times, it’s difficult to convince residents that a macaroni necklace is worth getting out of bed for, but I am always that friendly face that cheers them on and picks them up. Knowing that my happiness is brightening someone else's day is extremely valuable and is the fuel to my enthusiasm.

Preserving my optimism is not always easy; however, my excitement for the future retains my drive to overcome any challenge. Every opportunity given to me is taken advantage of, and if something doesn't go as planned. I am confident another door will open. Even though I enjoy focusing on the bright side of life, I'm aware that some people feel like they cant overcome their challenges alone. I recognized that I can be a hand to help people up, someone to believe in them, and a friend to conquer obstacles with. Using this positive influence is the very reason why I am looking forward to a career in psychology.

  • Shows Impact of Your Skill: Whenever possible, try to show how your skill/talent has impacted others. Why is your skill important? And how will you use it going forward in life?
  • Uses Humor: Having small moments of natural humor, when appropriate, makes for a more enjoyable essay. Even a small remark like "it’s difficult to convince residents that a macaroni necklace is worth getting out of bed for" is powerful.
  • Recognizes Challenges: Nobody is perfect, and even with your greatest skill or talent there are likely still shortcomings. Recognizing your challenges is important to humanize yourself and shows self-awareness.

UCLA Example Essay #8: Significant Educational Opportunity

UC PIQ #4: Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. (350 words max)

I was going to University of Southern California for three weeks, and that was all I could think about as the school year came to a close. After finding out that I had been accepted into the Bovard Scholars program, along with one of my best friends, I could not wait for the upcoming summer. As July 16th neared, I became more and more anxious,as I did not know what to expect, but I was looking forward to this new opportunity.

The program had just been launched this year and 49 of around 500 applicants were accepted. Over the course of three weeks, the 48 other people from all over the country would be my new friends. During my time there, I would be assigned a coach who would help with the college process, whether it be working on the college application as a group or having one-on-one sessions to work on personal statements. Outside of working on college applications and essays, we had guest speakers from admissions offices, student panels where we could ask questions, career panels, and workplace visits. We also had many presentations on financial aid, fields of major, jobs, and interviews which, most of it, I did not know beforehand.

Along with all this help, we also dormed at one of the residence halls, which allowed us to experience what college life might be like. I was amazed by the diversity of people that were attending the program, and I was shocked to find out that my roommate from New York was Egyptian. We even had Resident Assistants who planned evening activities for us to further stimulate college life. However, they were not just our Resident Assistants; as we grew closer we were able to gather information from them about college.

As the program came to its end, I did not want it to stop. I had such an incredible experience and learned so much about college. I knew that the program will never truly end, though, as our coaches will continue to work with us until Spring when we are accepted into colleges.

  • Specific in Achievements: Being specific and saying "49 of around 500 applicants were accepted" creates credibility. It also helps admissions officers have context about your achievements and be able to infer how significant they really were.
  • Stronger First Sentence: Try starting your essay with ideas, rather than retelling events. Starting off with interesting ideas helps hook your reader, and you can later support those ideas with your experiences and achievements.
  • Focus on Meaning: Emphasize what your takeaways were from this educational opportunity or barrier. Admissions officers are looking for what you learned, how it affected others, and how you'll use those lessons moving forward.

UCLA Example Essay #9: Working at Health Clinic

I worked in a health clinic in the impoverished village of Amara in Sudan this summer, expecting to be assigned general administrative duties during my internship. However, those expectations were tossed out the window within the first week. I consider myself a pretty squeamish person, so the thought of blood oozing from any injury disgusts me in ways that I cannot describe in words. So naturally, I was shocked when I didn’t flinch or faint as I held the retractors of a ravaged knee during surgery. I can’t say that I confronted the daunting tasks I was given with complete confidence, but I learned from the experiences nonetheless. At times, I would question the challenging orders given to me by the faculty, but I later realized that it was due to the lack of qualified doctors and nurses at the village.

I observed eleven surgeries, ranging from liver disease to a gruesome foot infection. The clinic worked under severe pressure, as basic resources and equipment were scarce, which ended badly for some patients. There was one particular patient who did not survive a disastrous bus crash due to the unavailability of ambulances. He was laying on the floor in agonizing pain for a lingering six hours. As the viscous blood stained the white cloth that covered him when he was brought to the clinic, I felt a surge of sorrow, anger, and helplessness. It was difficult for me to come to grips with the reality that some things cannot be undone. The emotions I felt that day slowly faded, but never completely receded. I left this internship satisfied with the invaluable knowledge I obtained, but I still feel like I needed to do more. I live a relatively privileged life, and don’t have to spend each day worrying about a measly injury that could end my life. At the time, even though I thought I was worked too hard for a high school student, I now know I didn't do enough. I’m eager to return to the clinic soon, and have hopes of gaining more experience and knowledge.

  • Emphasizes the Impact: After talking about what opportunity you had or what barrier you overcame, focusing on the impact of that experience is what matters. Describing your emotions and lessons learned makes the significance of those events more clear.
  • Strong Hook: Focus on finding your best idea and using that as your first sentence. Often, starting off with a story or retelling what you did can come later and isn't as important.

UCLA Example Essay #10: Most Significant Challenge

UC PIQ #5: Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? (350 words max)

Education has always been important in my household, but never paramount. We were always taught to put familial needs first—even before our own. My parents always emphasized the lesson that selfishness leads to bitterness and loneliness. That value is why six new members were added to my family when my father’s brother died two years ago. I did what was expected and shifted my focus from school to helping my kin.

I remember feeling a mosaic of emotions—apprehension, prudence, and displacement—as I greeted them at the airport. The five-hour-long ride back home was awkward and somber, and the complete silence said so much more than words could. We were all just afraid of what the future had in store for us. My step aunt, my two older cousins and the three younger ones were all compassionate, loving people. Yet, I couldn't seem to shed this foreboding feeling the first time we all entered our house. Every passing week made our financial situation more tenuous. So, my brother and I volunteered to help our dad at his small pharmaceutical wholesale business after he laid off two employees. We worked after school three days a week and would return home around 8:30.

That year of juggling school with my new obligations at home and my father’s business was emotionally and physically wrenching. However, I don't pity myself and I wouldn't go back to change anything because I learned so much about my character in that year. I realized that my parent’s belief in selflessness had shaped me into a more capable person because I was able to sacrifice time from socializing and classes to contribute, in some way, to my family. And even though I was concerned that I would hurt my academic performance, I stuck to my promises. That inexplicable sense of uneasiness I felt at the airport was caused by anxiety in anticipating the new demands that could potentially exhaust me. Thankfully, the challenges prepared me for the academic rigor for my junior year, my senior year, and hopefully, for university.

  • Vulnerable and Authentic: Talking about personal stories can be difficult, but often your vulnerable experiences have a lot of meaning. Being vulnerable also makes you more personable and relatable.
  • Explains Realizations: Rather than focusing on what happened, focus on the impact of it and why it's meaningful. How will these past experiences and academic challenges affect you going forward?
  • Stronger Conclusion: Try to connect your ending back to the beginning while expanding on it or connecting it to a universal idea. Alternatively, leave your conclusion more open ended.

UCLA Example Essay #11: Educational Challenge

Growing up, I tackled the challenge of school without much guidance from anyone other than my older sister, who is one grade higher. When I was at the young age of just five, my parents divorced and my sister and I were left with our dad, who we did not see often. Because our time with him was limited to driving us to school and home and dinner, we could not ask him for much help with homework or projects. Most of the time, we did the work ourselves or asked our uncle and aunt for help when they came on Saturdays. By the time we reached middle school, I was in more advanced classes, and although my dad had received an Associate’s Degree, he did not take advanced classes like I did, so he was unable to provide much help. My dad only took math up to geometry, and his English was not as fluent as mine, preventing him from providing much help.

Once I enrolled in high school, I was able to get help from teachers, programs, and even my sister. With this newfound help, I overcame the struggle of not knowing what to do in school and life, and I learned that help is always there, but I just needed to ask. Throughout my time in high school, I became more motivated than I was before to do the best I can and overcome anything that comes my way. I was able to do this with help from others, and I will continue to strive for greatness, overcoming any obstacles. Without the help of others, I would not have had the success that I have had in school. My good grades are a testament to the help that I have received in order for me to be where I am now. Although I can say that I have overcome this challenge, there is still one last hurdle, which is to graduate from high school, attend college, and apply everything I have learned to the real world.

  • Honesty: Authenticity is most important for your essays. By revealing personal details such as your family life and struggles, you can bring admissions officers into your world.
  • Sense of Gratitude: Showing a sense of appreciation and self-awareness makes you immediately more likeable. Nobody succeeds alone, so how did others in your life help you overcome difficulties?
  • Provide Clarification: Some parts could be given more context, such as "why is your dad not as fluent in English?". You could use this as an opportunity to talk about your cultural background and create a more clear picture of yourself for the reader.

UCLA Example Essay #12: Self-Improvement Challenge

The saying "you can be your own worst enemy" was the embodiment of the time I hit lowest point. Finishing my 22-hour days, I expected to lay down in bed close my eyes, and smile: thinking about all my accomplishments. Instead, I was sleep deprived, rapidly losing and gaining weight, and unhappy.

As a result, I stopped being able to focus and my grades began to fall. I lost motivation and the only reason I did anything was because of my obsession with completion. In this vulnerable state, I would tell myself I was useless and shy away from taking opportunities. I started to question if could get out of the hole I dug. Ironically, I have always been an optimist. I thought about the many things I wanted to do and I wouldn't be able to do any of them from a hospital bed.

Seeing the bright light ahead of me, I moved forward to a journey of self-improvement. First, I isolated myself from things that were affecting my happiness through finding a place where I could peacefully think about why I was enduring so much pain, regularly eat, and get some sleep. When I came back from my retreat, I continued my routine which improved my health and performance in school. The greatest outcome was my realization that I was compensating for my lack of self-esteem, I've been trying to get validation from my parents and peers by trying to be perfect, but when my friends left me and my parents didn't notice my efforts I overworked myself.

It was hard to stop searching for approval, yet the support of close friends and acknowledging that I'm doing everything I'm capable of, revealed to me what its like to love yourself. From then on, I determined my self worth, no one else. Now that I found my own drive and am confident, I don't have to beg for friends. struggle to maintain grades, skip meals, or lose sleep. Presently, I can say I am no longer my worst enemy: we're like friends that get closer every day.

  • Vulnerability: Showing your shortcomings and difficulties is important to reveal how you've grown and changed. Revealing your perspective and emotions also shows that you have self-awareness.
  • Provide More Explanation: Don't assume that the reader will remember everything about you. For essays like this, give more context. Answer questions that will come up in the reader's mind, like "Why did you have 22-hour days?".

UC PIQ #6: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom. (350 words max)

An academic subject that inspires me is Computer Science. Computers have fascinated me ever since a young age. I used my first computer when I was 4 years old- the Apple Macintosh Performa. I began learning about how computers worked in first grade, where I had my own Windows XP computer. I did not know what I was doing when I clicked through the thousands of files that made the computer run, but it was fascinating, and almost seemed like magic. I knew that a career with computers had to be in my future.

My fascination with computers took a new meaning in freshman year, when I decided to learn how to program. I did not know where to start, so I just typed in the search browser, "how to start programming". That day, I started with the Processing Language. It was a simple language to learn, but it built the foundation for my furthered interest in the computer programming aspect of Computer Science. After a couple months of using Processing, I learned HTML/CSS and JavaScript. These languages would allow me to program a wider range of applications. Soon enough, I became bilingual in the languages of computers. As time went on throughout my freshman and sophomore years I exposed myself to more languages like SQL, Batch Scripting, and in junior year, Java.

In my junior year I took AP Computer Science A, and finally after all the years of loving computers, I was able to take Computer Science as a class where I learned the Java language. I also furthered my interest in Computer Science by integrating it with the Engineering club on campus, using the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

This year I am in Computer Integrated Manufacturing, where I can implement my knowledge of Computer Programming into Engineering, through the use of Corel Draw with the Laser Cutter Printer and AutoDesk Inventor and OpenGL C++ Code with the CAD 3-D Printing machine.

Computer Science has always been a part of my life inside and outside of the classroom, and I seek to continue pursuing it as my major.

  • Connects Interests to Extracurriculars: Showing how your activities relate to your passions reveals your motivations and what drives you. By connecting to extracurriculars, it also creates a more complete picture of your application.
  • Specific In Naming Things: Whenever you are able to, being specific is better than being vague. By naming programming languages and classes, the story becomes more compelling.
  • Explain Why These Things Interest You: What is the root aspect of your interests that intrigue you? Try explaining how you feel when doing these activities and what motivates you. Admissions officers want to know how these interests developed, and more importantly, why they developed.

UC PIQ #7: What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? (350 words max)

I am "Korean big toes", "a water panda in disguise", and "Mr. Sweatface" - these are the nicknames I happily accepted over the years. My life was a buoyant bubble, full of gratification, funny nicknames, and simple pleasures; but that changed when I was confronted with the inhumane conditions of the LGBT centers around my town.

Stepping into the stone-house building, a few things immediately caught my attention. The rooms were small, full of broken furniture, smelled of mold, and had poor lighting; moreover, there was no privacy and extremely limited resources. It was obvious that the facility didn't have the funds to sustain itself, let alone help anyone trying to assimilate back into society. My heart ached as I realized the advantages I had been taking for granted; the idealistic mirage of reality I previously held, was now replaced by an overwhelming truth: Life isn't fair. Everyone in that facility had been criminalized for their sexuality, and I was going to do something about it!

Over the next few weeks, I brainstormed ideas and eventually decided on creating a blog where I would share the stories of anyone who was willing to speak up for change. The clickety-clack of my keyboard filled the common rooms of LGBT centers around my city. I slowly-but-surely interviewed the residents of these homes, recording stories of inequality and discrimination. As I uploaded each story to my blog, I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that I was breaking down barriers and fulfilling my passions. Furthermore, reading the comments flooding my inbox, I realized that although the LGBT centers in my area still remain underfunded, I had made an impact on individuals through my blog and did something for a community I genuinely cared about. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.

In my quest to create change, I forged a new nickname for myself -- "advocate"; except, unlike the titles I was bestowed as a kid, this nickname represented my creativity, ingenuity, and passion, and for those reasons, it is more precious than anyone will ever know.

  • Vivid Descriptions: Painting a picture can make your stories immediately more interesting. By using descriptive language and word choice, your stories have more life to them.
  • Conclusion That Connects to Beginning: Try connecting your ending back to the beginning, but with a new perspective or take. By bringing your essay full circle, it creates a sense of cohesiveness.
  • Name Things Specifically: Rather than being general and saying "LGBT centers", the author could name one specifically. Since not everyone may be faimilar with the concept of "LGBT centers", it helps make your essay more concrete and easier to interpret.

UCLA Example Essay #15: Empowering Others Through Peer Tutoring

I never thought that I would tutor other people after school, but that was what I did my junior year and now in my senior year. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was the one being tutored by upperclassmen who had taken my classes before. Receiving help from others inspired me to become a tutor my junior year so I could give back and share the opportunity that I had. At first, I was not sure if I would be up to the task, as I did not feel confident in my teaching abilities in various subjects. As time went on, however, I became at ease and comfortable tutoring anyone the more I tutored along with my peers.

Every day from Monday through Thursday, I went to library as much as I could to help tutor with others from 3 to 4 o’clock, and it slowly became a part of my daily schedule. To begin with, I was not the greatest teacher, but as I helped more and more, I gradually became better at it due to teaching the same concepts repeatedly. Not only was I helping the person I was tutoring understand the subject, but I also was becoming better at the subject by teaching it. Teaching a subject allowed me to relearn concepts and ideas that I had forgotten, as well as studying for a subject if I was tutoring a classmate.

Motivated by wanting to help other students, I was able to be at tutoring most days, and this led to me receiving a tutoring award at my school’s California Scholarship Federation banquet at the end of the year. It was a surprise to me as I was not expecting to be honored. To me, the best award was the satisfaction of helping others understand how to do homework questions and them being grateful for the help. Although this year tutoring is not being held in the library yet, I joined another club that tutors after school for the time being so I can continue helping others and spread my knowledge.

  • Shows Their Realizations: Realizations and new understanding are how people change. That's why its important to look for what lessons you learned, and what you took away from your activities.
  • Explain Why: Try to predict what questions will arise in the reader's mind, and answer those questions. For this essay, one question that is unanswered is "Why did you never think you would tutor other people?".

UC PIQ #8: Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California? (350 words max)

This was the night. Clenching my fists, I called my dad over. Maybe it was the adrenaline coursing through my veins or maybe just suspense, but time seemed to freeze as anxiety washed over my consciousness. A million doubts flooded my mind as I dreaded what would come next. The pitter-patter of his feet hitting the tile floor brought me back to reality. My dad had always loved and supported me, I just had to trust that things would be alright.

In a quivering voice, my hands shaking, I explained to my dad that I was gay. After a brief moment of silence, my dad said ten words that completely changed my life: "I raised you completely wrong, get out of my house". I was devastated, but I wasn't surprised. This was the same person physically forced pork down my throat when I told him I wanted to become a vegetarian; who would hit me and my mom if either of us voiced dissenting opinions; and the same person who would come home drunk and threaten to kill us. With tears running down my cheeks, I packed my belongings and drove my 98' Nissan Pathfinder away from my home. From that night on I learned to be brave, to follow my dreams, and to fight for what I believe in.

The next few years were tough. In my community, being gay was unacceptable and embracing my identity meant enduring the consequences. I will never forget being dragged into a storage room and choked or hiding the bruises I got from being pelted by textbooks. But looking back, I realize that the lessons I learned drove me towards success. They inspired me to be relentless and graduate early, to surpass expectations by doing college-credit classes, and remain strong in the face of oppression and adversity. Moving forward, as I look to broaden my education horizons, I know that I have the emotional vitality to success wherever I go. So I want to dedicate this essay to my dad and to everyone who made me strong, thank you.

  • Honest and Vulnerable: Talking about personal stories can be impactful. Often the most difficult stories are the ones that need to be shared.
  • Explains Your Perspective and Emotions: Sharing how you felt in a certain moment can allow the reader to "be in your shoes." By telling your perspective, you allow admissions officers to better understand your experience.
  • Focus On Takeaways: Although stories are important, what matters more is the lessons and takeaways from those stories. The majority of your essay should be focused on those ideas, with a smaller portion where you talk about what actually happened.

UCLA Example Essay #17: Fostering Inclusive Leadership

All around us, the world is dominated by big voices, people who can present themselves positively and effectively elaborate on their opinions. Many of our most successful politicians carve their paths to the top through their charisma and articulate language. Unfortunately, while many of them possess a strong voice, many of them don’t possess that same strength in listening. While their job is to represent the people, there is a large disconnect between their perspective and the perspectives of their citizens. Even in Congress, civilized debate has transformed into a shouting battle, where both parties attempt to push their ideas, but neither side is willing to listen.

In contrast, a leader with an open ear, an open mind, and an open heart is exactly what I bring to the table. I believe that everyone has a unique story to share. From the most flamboyant billionaires to the people living on the streets, every single person possesses their own unique set of skills, perspective, and knowledge that can be useful to learn from. Because of this, I make it my priority to listen to and understand the human behind each team member I work with. In recognizing each person’s strengths and weaknesses, I’m able to build a positive environment in which every person is able to reach their maximum potential.

For example, when it comes to group projects, I always make sure to know the personalities of those I’m working with and create a transparent and inclusive environment that is conducive to productivity. Rather than dishing out assignments and deadlines, I make sure everyone is able to contribute in a way that matches their strengths and skills. Furthermore, by creating such a transparent atmosphere, group members are able to understand each other’s situations and help each other out like an actual team, allowing everyone to be both productive and pleased.

With all the divisiveness that is taking place in the country today, it is more necessary than ever to have open-minded leaders such as myself to help bring this campus and this nation together.

  • Strong Hook Sentence: Using a thought-provoking idea to start your sentence immediately draws the reader in. By having a unique take on the world, people want to read more and are interested by your thoughts.
  • Using Examples to Explain: For abstract ideas and concepts, try using a real life example to make things more clear. Capture the essence of your ideas and find what is at the core of them.

Stepping foot in public has been like opening a floodgate to questions and comments about the one thing that I've been looked down upon my entire life for - my height. Standing out because I was 4'9" wasn't something I was proud of; I was picked last for sports, not taken seriously, and often used as a human arm rest. My mom warned me life was going to be hard if I didn't drink my milk. However, people aren't aware that my appearance is a deception and what makes me extraordinary is that I've outgrown myself. People should be asking me how a person so "big" can fit into a girl so tiny. I have a huge personality, dreams, goals, and a plethora of talent. My achievements earned me such a high standing that I do know what the weather is like up there, yet, my head is never in the clouds because my distance from the ground makes me down to earth.

My only oddity is that my anatomy has grown out of proportion. It's hard to believe that with such short arms, I can extend them long enough to touch hearts with my art and performances. I have been devoted to helping people and educating myself ever since I was young, but who knew that my brain and heart would become so gigantic? Despite my how big my brain is, I keep my head as small as my body because I value letting others know that I'll never overlook them.

Although I haven't hit as many significant growth spurts as the average person. I grow with ambition every day, considering every moment a step closer to success. Being able to pursue my passions at a university will allow me to continue maturing into a person who will one day be looked up to by many. The reader of my response cannot see the facade that has been the subject of many peoples first impressions of me. instead, they will observe that even though I can't reach the top shelf, I can still reach my goals in life.

  • Using Metaphors: Explaining something ordinary (like being short) in an unusual or not-so-common way can show your unique take on it. By using metaphors, you can connect seemingly unrelated ideas together.

What can you learn from these UCLA essays?

These UC essays are not perfect—nor should they be—but each has interesting ideas and a unique perspective.

Compared to some private university essays , UC essays are relatively straightforward.

So focus on making each UC essay express one interesting idea as your answer.

Here's my top 4 lessons for UCLA essays:

  • Avoid too much storytelling and descriptions. You only have 350 words, so focus on ideas.
  • Answer every part of the prompt, clearly. Avoid implying your answer. Make sure your idea is crystal clear and relevant.
  • Showcase a different aspect of yourself with each essay. Avoid re-using topics, unless you're taking a very different angle.
  • Show your thinking. As with all successful essays, your thinking is most important.

Also applying to UC Berkeley?

I've collected additional essays from admitted Cal students that are completely unique from these UCLA essays.

If you're interested, check out these our essays that worked for UC Berkeley .

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Princeton Admitted Essay

People love to ask why. Why do you wear a turban? Why do you have long hair? Why are you playing a guitar with only 3 strings and watching TV at 3 A.M.—where did you get that cat? Why won’t you go back to your country, you terrorist? My answer is... uncomfortable. Many truths of the world are uncomfortable...

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MIT Admitted Essay

Her baking is not confined to an amalgamation of sugar, butter, and flour. It's an outstretched hand, an open invitation, a makeshift bridge thrown across the divides of age and culture. Thanks to Buni, the reason I bake has evolved. What started as stress relief is now a lifeline to my heritage, a language that allows me to communicate with my family in ways my tongue cannot. By rolling dough for saratele and crushing walnuts for cornulete, my baking speaks more fluently to my Romanian heritage than my broken Romanian ever could....

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UPenn Admitted Essay

A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future. Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland...

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