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How to Ace the UGA Supplemental Essays

Many colleges’ supplemental essay questions touch on common themes, such as your academic interests or what communities you belong to. The UGA supplemental essays, however, are a different story. The University of Georgia asks students to answer a unique, playful prompt that asks you to share a memorable high school story. 

Let’s explore this unconventional prompt and how to craft an excellent response. 

Also see: How to write an essay about yourself

Prompt #1

“The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself from your high school years that you have not already shared in your application (200-350 words)” 

Try not to roll your eyes at an essay prompt saying it hopes to de-stress the college process. Seriously, embrace this message! There is still expectation to write a nice essay, of course; but trust that admissions wants you to stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Treat this space as an enjoyable opportunity to share a story reflective of your personality. Brainstorming with this more relaxed mindset ensures your voice comes across natural and authentic. 

At the same time, the openness of this response can be overwhelming. After all, high school comes with four years of ‘interesting’ and ‘amusing’ stories–how can you pick just one? Start by making a list of stories that stand out when you reflect on high school. Next, look at what you’ve conveyed about yourself through your personal statement and activities section. Which character traits have you not revealed that are key to who you are? Or, is there a value you emphasize throughout your application that another story can strengthen? 

Sample story ideas

One example could be writing about the time you completely bombed your tenth grade piano recital performance. This anecdote definitely ticks the ‘amusing’ response. Describing a cringe-worthy moment which you now laugh about showcases humility. It also reveals that you have hobbies, took a risk to play on-stage, and handled the embarrassment with composure and perseverance. 

Another route might be related to your intended major, graphic design. You could talk about making a mock-up of an album cover for your favorite artist. After DM’ing it to them on Instagram, the fact that they used your work on their next record is truly remarkable! This definitely qualifies as an ‘interesting’ story. It shows your initiative, talent, and genuine love for your area of study, as well. 

What is awesome about this prompt is the creative freedom it gives your writing. For the first example, you should set the scene by describing the iconic chords of “Bennie and the Jets” struck so egregiously so off-key. Then the panic that set in. Your mind going blank, fingers sweating. Almost throwing in the towel. The awkward applause. For the second example, the inspiration for the album. The hours spent tweaking the message you’d send in your favorite artist’s inbox. Show off your writing and storytelling skills here! 

Also see: What looks good on college applications?

Questions to consider: 

  • Have you had any interactions with famous people or your role models?
  • What is a stroke of bad luck you’ve experienced? How did you deal with it? 
  • Do you have any impactful stories from traveling? 
  • What is your go-to icebreaker or fun fact? 

Also see: How to write a 250 word essay

Additional resources

As you’re working on college applications, we’re sure that you’ve juggling a lot of tasks at once. There are many decisions to be made and things to accomplish. Luckily, we can help. Check out our guide on how many colleges to apply to, how to find safety, reach, and match schools, and how to get a college application fee waiver. We can also help you fill out your Common App Activities and Additional Information sections to ensure that you present every aspect of your application as best you can. Finally, check out our insider’s perspective of what happens inside a college admissions office to get an idea of how your application will be reviewed. Good luck!

Other colleges to consider

Next steps for students

We hope you feel ready to rock the UGA supplemental essays after reading our guide. By now, you should have all the tools to take a successful trip down high school memory lane. Have fun with this prompt and your sincerity will be evident! Make sure that you apply for all the scholarships you qualify for too!

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