Writing UC Prompt 2: Your Creative Side

[This article is part of a new series where we will be dissecting each of the UC essay prompts in depth, providing examples and tips on how you can make your application stand out.]

Click here to read yesterday’s post about UC Prompt #1.

Prompt #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.

Today, we’ll be discussing one of my personal favorites, UC Prompt #2. As the prompt suggests, this is the perfect one for those of you who have a distinct outlet of creativity - which should be all of you! This prompt may seem like an obvious choice for painters, music producers, poets, or graphic designers, but it also works very well if interpreted less literally.

So all you engineers, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs - listen up!

What this prompt is really asking you for is to show how you think about the world and what unique perspectives you’ll bring to campus. Universities want to know how you engage with the wonders of the world and plan on solving global issues. Maybe you feel the creative juices flowing when you’re learning about the depths of the universe or maybe you’re up all night brainstorming ideas for your future business.

Whatever it may be, this prompt isn’t just asking you to simply describe the creative activity that you do, but rather they are looking for how your thought process works in these moments and how that can be applied to future activities.

To start, try brainstorming times when you’ve experienced hardship and needed to creatively deal with the situation. Maybe you’ve had a difficult encounter with someone, something didn’t go according to plan, you’ve made a huge mistake, or your opinion has differed from the norm. How did you overcome the situation? Did you do it in a way that others might not think to? What does it show about your ability to problem solve in the real world?

It doesn’t have to be a crazy situation that you wrestled yourself out of. In fact, some of the best stories could be about dealing with mundane, common issues, because it shows that you’re able to think differently than most.

Here is an example of how you might structure this essay:

  1. Describe the problem that arose

  2. What was your thought process to solving this issue?

  3. Did you face any setbacks and how did you overcome them?

  4. Reflect on how your solution to the problem was creative and different from how others would have approached it.

  5. How can you apply this similar style of thinking to future endeavors?

The bottom line is, if you choose to write this essay, describe your unique thought process rather than just describing a “creative” activity.

If you found this article helpful, stay tuned tomorrow for a discussion of UC Prompt #3!

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