If you’re applying to the University of Georgia, you don’t need to submit a personal statement but you will have to write two UGA essays.
For one of these, you’ll pick from four UGA essay prompts. You only have 300 words, so you’ll want to choose a prompt that allows you to show off your best qualities.
(Note: this prompt has been updated since last year. The choice that used to read “Creativity is found in many forms including artistic avenues, intellectual pursuits, social interactions, innovative solutions, et cetera. Tell us how you express your creativity” has been replaced. So don’t look for it!)
Choose any one of the following essay topics:
UGA’s 2017 Commencement speaker Ernie Johnson (Class of ’79) told a story from his youth about what he refers to as blackberry moments. He has described these as “the sweet moments that are right there to be had but we’re just too focused on what we’re doing …, and we see things that are right there within our reach and we neglect them. Blackberry moments can be anything that makes somebody else’s day, that makes your day, that are just sweet moments that you always remember.” Tell us about one of your “blackberry moments” from the past five years.
Pick this UGA essay prompt if: there’s a small but meaningful experience you remember so vividly that it feels as if it just happened yesterday, so that you can write about it with rich, concrete details and make a reader feel as if they were there too. Spend about half the essay conveying key sensory details (sights, sounds, touch, perhaps even taste!) and emotions of the experience, and then go on to discuss why this moment was meaningful to you. For example, you might discuss how making toast for your little sister before school made you realize how much you love taking care of people, and how it dawned on you that you want a career centered around this passion.
What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What is the best part? What advice would you give to a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
Pick this UGA essay prompt if: you are a people person. If you find that you express yourself most vividly and fluidly when you are telling friends and loved ones about your thoughts and feelings, then this prompt will help you display your personality. When brainstorming for this prompt, it can help to think of the first half as “what I wish my parents and teachers knew,” and the second half as “what I wish I’d known five years ago.”
Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
Pick this UGA essay prompt if: you can identify specific traits, values, ethics, or philosophies that guide your actions—personal “characteristics” that make you stand out as a human being. The more specific you can be here, the easier it should be to come up with experiences to write about. Discuss either a time when you exemplified these values or traits, or a time when you first began to care about them. Be sure to briefly talk about the future implications of this experience.
Note: This prompt resembles several of the Common App essay prompts; if you’ve already written a personal statement responding to one of those, you may be able to adapt it to use here. However, since this essay is much shorter, you’ll probably want to mine your previous essay for key details and themes, and then rewrite it with a new structure suited for 300 words. This will help it to flow better than if you simply cut lines in your Common App response.
Describe a problem, possibly related to your area of study, which you would like to solve. Explain its importance to you and what actions you would take to solve this issue.
Pick this UGA essay prompt if: you’re an activist or have big dreams of changing the world; if you have some specific issue that you care about deeply and that connects to your life in some significant way. It’s fine if your goal to “change the world” isn’t global in scope; as long as you can say why it’s meaningful to you, even a relatively small change/improvement can make a big difference in people’s lives.
For the other UGA application essay, all applicants respond to the same prompt.
300 words max
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.
Think about anecdotes that you tell your friends and family that elicit at least a chuckle, if not wild guffaws. Sometimes an amusing tale shows a weakness or vulnerability of ours; other people can relate, and so they laugh in identification. Above all, don’t feel like you have to force yourself to be funny. You could eschew humor and write about some quirky, unusual interaction or uncanny incident.
One caveat: UGA does lament the large number of last year’s essays that touched on “bodily functions.” So consider steering clear of bodily functions! In short, don’t gross them out! All things considered, it’s “snot” worth it.
In general, when you respond to these UGA essay prompts, use specific, surprising details and focus on what makes you unique; show readers sides of your personality not highlighted in the rest of your application.