How to Show Maturity and Growth in Common App Essay Prompt #5

Your college admissions essay is a way to open a conversation with your admissions officers. In 650 words, you have the opportunity to share details about yourself as if you were fellow passengers on a long plane ride. A strong personal statement can quickly win over admissions officers because they find you likable, thoughtful, intelligent, and self-aware.

One way to demonstrate these qualities is through the Common App essay prompt #5, which focuses on personal growth and maturity. Through sharing a poignant moment in your life, you can show them how critically you assess your goals and character. Explain what you value and how you aim to develop yourself so that colleges and universities can gain a good sense of whether you have what it takes to thrive as an independent person in the challenging diverse environment they have to offer.

To help you craft the best essay to highlight who you are, we’ve prepared a series of guides on addressing each of the Common App essay prompts. Our cheat sheets, including the one below for prompt #5, will give you the tools you need to write a compelling story about you.

For additional resources regarding other Common App essay prompts and the college admissions process, feel free to visit our Resources Page and our College Admissions Editing Page.

Good luck!