UC Personal Insight Essay Examples


UC Personal Insight Essay Examples, Guidelines, and Tips for You.

UC: Wondering how to successfully write UC essays? You’re in luck! In this post, I’ll go over UC Personal Insight Questions tips and examples that’ll take your essays to the next level.

UC Personal Insight Essay: Why do UC Essays Matter?

Over the past decade, as the University of California received more applications—200,000 freshman and transfer applications for the 2016 class—the admissions committees found themselves unable to make difficult calls on students based solely on test scores and GPAs.

That’s why, in 2017, the UC system switched to new “personal insight questions.” They are, in other words, an opportunity for you to show who you are beyond your scores; that’s why the committees dreamed these up, and it is why spending time to craft these essays will go a long way.

These questions are also a chance to show more sides of yourself than students could in previous years when applying to UC schools when fewer questions were asking for longer answers.

The UCs follow holistic admissions, like many private universities, which means their ranking system takes into account several qualitative aspects of your life whether or not you’ve made the most of the opportunities you’ve been given, the level of your extracurricular involvement, and other “big picture” elements.

While holistic admissions can be frustrating to those of us on the outside, leaving us to question what exactly gets weighed behind the scenes, there is one certainty: your essays matter—some folks estimate they account for up to 30% of admissions decisions—when a university tells us its process is qualitative and subjective.

Prompt: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.  

UC Personal Insight Essay Examples One

Capitalism Causes Extinction! Nuclear War Is Imminent!

Initially, the debate seemed nonsensical: lambasting opponents while arguing improbable scenarios. But over time I’ve learned that it’s more than the competition that drives me to stay up all night looking for evidence: I love learning about the political and ideological underpinnings of our society and the way they shape us.

On an easy debate tournament weekend, I research foreign diplomatic agendas and synthesize the information into coherent debate evidence.

When tournaments become more hectic, however, I delve deeper into the works of philosophers and social critics and translate the knowledge into debate argumentation.

While researching foreign policy, a critical theory like Heideggerian phenomenology, and constitutional details, I’ve developed an ability to critically analyze argumentation, make sense of the world around me and creatively express myself in an academic setting.

My hard work has paid off. In the past four tournaments, I’ve received a Top 10 speaker award for the varsity division consisting of about 50 debaters. This trend has increased my credibility in my debate league to such a level that my partner and I were invited to participate in a series of public debates at LA City Hall to defend the water policy for the drought. The opportunity allowed me to impact the public’s awareness and accept a larger responsibility in the workings of my community.

More importantly, however, the debate has taught me to strategically choose my battles. When I prepare my arguments, I know that I can’t use all of them at the end of around. I have to focus on it. I’ve learned to maximize my strengths and not try to conquer everything.

Moreover, I’ve learned to be responsible for my choices. A wrong argument can mean losing if we can’t defend well. Not only do I now know how to zoom in from a bigger picture, but I also know how to pick the right place to zoom in so I can achieve my goal.

The debate has turned me into a responsible optimizing, scrutinizing, and strategizing orator.

UC Personal Insight Essay Examples Two

I was part of making silent history at our school this past year. As a part of the Community Outreach Committee of Leadership Class, I contacted the local Food Bank and together with the help of the student body, donated over 600 pounds of canned food for Thanksgiving.

Noticing a bulk of unused VHS tapes in our school’s basement, I did some research and discovered that discarding these are harmful to the environment. I found an organization that employs people with disabilities to recycle these tapes, and soon our school shipped over 400 VHS tapes to their warehouse in Missouri.

We received overwhelming gratification from them as no other school, even in their community, had done something like that. Watching a small grassroots initiative in our community benefits people I was unlikely to ever meet made me feel connected to the world at large and showed me the power of putting actions to your words.

As a member of Leadership, I have also spent countless hours preparing for and facilitating New Student Orientation, Homecoming, and Grad Night, among many other programs.

Seeing a gap in our care of the student body, I also expanded the New Student Launches Program to include not just freshman, but all new transfers, regardless of grade level.

Leadership is my critic. It forces me to constantly weigh the pros and cons of how I carry myself, how I speak, and how I listen at every single event we put on for the student body.

It has taught me to look objectively and weigh the wants and needs of every student. It has shown me the importance of listening, not just hearing.

Leadership is the ability to make each student a part of something so much bigger than themselves. It holds me accountable and keeps me engaged with my fellow humans even when I’m exhausted. It has allowed me to leave a legacy of purpose.

Through vulnerability in times of stress and joy in times of celebration, grooming myself into a better leader has also made me a better student, friend, and daughter.

UC Personal Insight Essay Examples Three

Founder of Non-profit

Shipped away from the faraway land of [state name], I moved to India in 8th grade. My parents wanted me to be more globally exposed, but what would I gain from moving 8,000-miles away, anyway?

To engage me in the community, my mom took me to visit the outskirts of Hyderabad where we happened upon a rusty house, home to 35 orphaned children.

We began conversing with their only caretaker and learned the children had never seen life outside these 4 broken walls; additionally, each kid had built their emotional wall, created from trauma from being abandoned by their parents. From behind the caretaker, I saw vivid brown eyes stare at me, eyes belonging to a little girl who was taking solace, hiding.

“Hi there…” I said, but that was all she wanted to hear before hurtling away.

I later learned her name was [name].

Over the next few days, [name] occupied my mind.  How could I help? Eventually, I came up with the idea for [organization name], an organization that would help those kids by raising funds from students at my high school. Breaking through their emotional walls became my goal.

For a year, I visited the kids daily. With every dance class and tutoring session, I sensed their walls slowly crumbling. [Name] however allowed her barrier to block her off completely; her progress became my mission.

One morning, she smiled meekly, ushering me into her room, where she showed me her beloved doll. At that moment, I realized it wasn’t just a doll, but a symbol of her willingness to reciprocate friendship.

[Name] was so deep in her emotional abyss that showing her I cared wasn’t enough. Working relentlessly to prove that I wasn’t going to give up was crucial, and her growth through [organization name] created an internal transformation, allowing her to let love in. As a leader, I learned that bestowing hope onto others can show them that making a difference stems from within.

A year later, I waved bye to the motivated children as I moved back to the States. Though they weren’t completely healed, their smiles showed our progress.

Now that you have seen these examples I believe you can do it yourself without any stress. You can also share this with your friends on social media.

EDU Team.

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