Prompt #7 – Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
This prompt was added to the list in 2017-18 and has since become the top choice of many students as it provides sheer flexibility and freedom to choose your own adventure. While this prompt may look appealing at a glance, keep in mind that choosing this means you will have to provide a lot more preliminary explanation on what your essay is about, as opposed to the other prompts, which have already provided the reader context through their explicit question.
You should choose this prompt if you think that you cannot adequately showcase your skills, values, and personality traits through the other six prompts. And that might be a rare case, since the other prompts are fairly open-ended in allowing you to tell a story about different aspects of your life.
Another approach to this prompt would be to connect two to three of the given prompts together, to come up with an essay topic of your choice if you feel any single prompt does not adequately contain your story.
If you choose this prompt, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What do you want the admissions committee to know about you which they won’t find in any other component of your application?
2. What values would you bring to the college that will further enhance the culture of the university? How did you acquire these values? And how will you showcase these in creating your own prompt?
3. Which event or set of events are so important to you, that you feel your application is incomplete without it?
While thinking through these questions might help, they also might not fully cover your idea. Therefore, the most important question remains: why are you choosing this prompt to tell your story? What aspect of your story cannot be captured by the other prompts? That, most likely, should be the part of the story that you also focus on in your essay, because if it was significant enough to drive your choice of prompts, then it will also be significant for admissions officers to know as well.
This prompt carries some risk, but with risk may come greater reward. If that sounds like your style, then this just may be the prompt for you.