The University of Colorado Boulder (AKA CU Boulder) is committed to diversity and inclusion. With its writing supplement, CU Boulder wants not only to learn more about who you are as a person, but also to see how you might help them achieve these core ideals.
Here’s the prompt for the University of Colorado Boulder essay:
At the University of Colorado Boulder, no two Buffs are alike. We value difference and support equity and inclusion of all students and their many intersecting identities. Pick one of your unique identities and describe its significance. (250-650 words)
Although this prompt is similar to other “background” or “community” prompts, this one has a really interesting phrase: “one of your unique identities.” They’re inviting you to think about the many different sides of yourself and the various environments in which you interact. So how do you pick which “unique identity” to write about?
First, to better understand CU Boulder’s core values, you might want to explore their “IDEA plan”. You can also read about the CU Boulder office devoted to pursuing these values. Familiarizing yourself with the university’s goals might help you consider how your own identities fit in with these ideals.
To start generating topics, brainstorm words and phrases about who you are as a person. Think of your unique traits, values, beliefs, and formative experiences. How might your family, friends, teachers, coworkers, teammates—or perhaps even strangers—describe you? Be specific, but don’t worry about using full sentences; the idea here is to collect concrete details about your various identities.
- Keep in mind that you don’t have to focus on your culture, race, or political beliefs; you could discuss something as lighthearted as how you’re known as the world traveler, the animal lover, or the ping-pong player among your friends.
Now it’s time to pick an identity to write about. Looking over what you wrote, jot down some notes about which items are most meaningful to you—and why.
- For each identity, consider ways you’ve contributed to making a group or community more diverse and full of varied perspectives. Think of ideals you hold and roles you play; how have these helped you—and others—to grow?
Once you’ve narrowed down and reflected on your “unique identity” of choice, it’s time to start writing your essay!
- These can be complex topics—so don’t be afraid to describe some challenging moments and difficult lessons learned! Perhaps you recall a time you felt bullied or excluded because someone couldn’t accept who you are, or a time you were able to help someone out of a difficult situation by offering your unique perspective. What did you—and others—learn from this experience?
- To make your University of Colorado Boulder essay compelling, describe some specific experiences and interactions, and show some unique ways that you’ve grown and helped others to grow. For example, perhaps you inspired all your friends to write letters to a company that tests its products on animals, and you’ve started a club that promotes animal welfare.
To wrap up your University of Colorado Boulder essay, you might discuss how this identity and its related experiences will help you to make an impact within the CU Boulder community. It’s okay to think small! Remember, a belief or experience doesn’t have to be earth-shaking to be significant; sometimes we learn and grow the most from the smallest moments and gestures.