Why College X - Four Year Plan

Essay Prompt

In addition to curriculum, grades and activities, Dickinson’s Admissions Committee looks for purpose, potential and self-reflection. Explain why you have chosen to apply to Dickinson and how your interests, talents and goals fit with Dickinson’s distinctive character. (500 words)

Sample Essay

I visited Dickinson as part of a whirlwind of college tours that my father and I took last spring. It stood out from the others as the place I could most easily imagine myself spending four years accomplishing all my goals AND having a great time doing it.

Here’s how I see it all laying out for me.

Freshman Year: I arrive on the campus, move in, and start making friends right away. I’m taking a full load of classes tilted toward the sciences because I’m eventually going to be an Environmental Studies major. I get involved with a few “green” projects because I’m all about that and Dickinson’s emphasis on sustainability means that I have tons of opportunities to carry that passion forward. I also join the club ice hockey team; it is awesome that I can play “college level” ice hockey competitively since I haven’t missed a season since I laced up my skates and got on the ice at age eight. Around campus, I build a bit of a reputation as a rabid fan of the Lacrosse team, because I enjoy being a fan almost as much as I enjoy playing a sport and because it is always great to watch true talent on the field. Dickinson’s team does not disappoint.

Sophomore Year: I developed a close relationship with a couple of my professors last year and they help me land a spot assisting in some research. I love doing that kind of hands-on learning. I also take advantage of internship opportunities that Dickinson has to offer. Working for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection would be my top choice for an internship, but any environmental internship would be a great experience.

Junior Year: I’m fulfilling the dream I’ve had since 9th grade of studying in a foreign country. I’ve always wanted to learn about other cultures, and study subjects I’m interested in, in a different way. At Dickinson a global education and study abroad are two things that are strongly encouraged, so I’ve gotten to do it. Of Dickinson’s programs abroad, the two that appeal the most to me are the one in Spain (because I really would like to become fully fluent in Spanish after studying it for so long) or the one in Australia (because of its focus on the sciences), but who knows where I’ll be? I just know it will be some place outside of the U.S. where I can really delve into another culture and come back to Carlisle with “worldly wisdom” to share.

Senior Year: I’m deeply involved in an independent research project and trying to decide between going straight to graduate school or working first. If I want to get a job, I feel like I’ll be able to discover some great opportunities through the Dickinson network. I’m back on the club ice hockey team after my year abroad and having a great “final season.” I’m already starting to feel a bit sad about the thought of graduating because it has been such a great four years, but I know that I’ve made life-long friends who will remain with me through out the rest of my life and I know that the Dickinson community extends much farther than Carlisle. I’m also doing my part to bring the next generation to Carlisle by serving as a student volunteer touring prospective students around campus and hopefully giving them the same feeling I got when I visited and put Dickinson on my list five short years ago.

Back to All Essays

Take the stress out of college application essays.

Access our library of sample college application essays, all annotated to show you exactly how an admissions officer evaluates an essay… what’s effective (style, content, tone) and why.

Get Inline