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What can you contribute to our school (but I have nothing to contribute)?

terriblewriting 1 / 1  
Jan 19, 2010   #1
Hello. I'm trying to apply to a certain dorm school, and one of the questions on the application is "What can you contribute to our school?"

I'm not sure how to answer it because I honestly think that I have nothing good to contribute. I'm not a good speaker; I'm not involved with sports, music, or art; I don't have any interesting hobbies; and I'm antisocial... Also, I haven't really volunteered all that much either.

Please help me.
twizzlestraw 12 / 95  
Jan 19, 2010   #2
Wow - you're pretty hard on yourself! =(

But uhm if you can't think of anything good about yourself, ask a friend or family member something that they like about you.

Are you passionate about anything - learning, perhaps? What do you want to do with your lif?

If all that is true, maybe you have a desire to grow as a person... Expand yourself and your intrests...? If that's true, just say that you want to learn from other people's backgrounds and use your unique life experiences to help others grow as well.

Hope that helped!
I am sure you are an amazing person, with many things to contribute - don't be so hard on yourself!
OP terriblewriting 1 / 1  
Jan 19, 2010   #3
Ah! Thank you so much! I have an idea of how I want to respond now!

Thank you!
ivyeyesediting - / 85  
Jan 19, 2010   #4
Dear 'terriblewriting,'

I completely agree with 'twizzlestraw,' and also think we might have to check into a more unique user name. Ha! In all seriousness, every applicant has something to contribute. It's a matter of positioning. Some other things to think about:

-where are you from, and how might your cultural background or geography give you a unique point of view?
-what about life experiences which have shaped your perspective?
-twizzlestraw's suggestion to draw from one of your passions is great!

I would say 'a desire to learn' should be the last option--AdComs expect intellectual curiosity, and they want to hear what makes you special here. In my opinion, a specific talent isn't even as persuasive as some of the more abstract concepts above, which all speak to your ability to really change the community of which you are part for the better. Use this essay to give more depth to your application and reveal who you are. I'm positive you have a tremendous amount to offer.

If you'd like to bounce some other ideas off of us, please let us know!

srandhawa 10 / 157  
Jan 19, 2010   #5
look into the culture of the place your applying to, thats the key for alot of these contribution essays, if you understand the culture of hte place and show that, then it also allows you to be more specific. You dont need any national awards or any top test scores or anything like that to be a contributor, what do you think is your greatest personality trait? And if you insist you have no good ones, what is the least medicore? Build off that, tell a story, give an anecdote, a casual one, if you dont have confidence in your accomplishments, just go back to your personality and look for stories in your life that could catch their attention, humorous, serious whatever, and through portraying these stories you can bring out your characterstics, and through the writing you can show that you do have something to contribute through your wittiness or vivacity or whatever comes through in your writing. Accomplishments arent the end all at all for these essays, you can even write one about how you sit on your couch and do nothing, as long as you can relate it to the culture of where your applying to. Hope that makes any sense, good luck

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