美國大學common app essay申請文件是你對美國大學招生委員會單方面開啟的一次對話，短短的650字是你的機會向大家分享關於你的種種。一份有力且到位自我介紹(personal statement)可以迅速擄獲招生委員的心，因為他們覺得你討喜、有內涵、聰明又有自覺。
想要展現這些特質的一個方法是利用Common App essay prompt #5，這一個essay著重於個人成長與成熟度。分享生命中一個有意義的時刻，你就能表現你如何嚴格地評估你的目標與個性。透過解釋你所重視的東西與你想如何塑造自己，學校可以能夠清楚了解到你是否具備能夠在多元環境中成長茁壯的特質。
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This question is about recent growth and maturity. Admissions officers are interested to know how you digest the experiences you encounter and use them to improve your viewpoints on life and how you set future goals. What did you realize about yourself during the process? How did the experience affect your behavior and plans? Be careful about using this space to brag about an accomplishment. Rather than focusing on the actual achievement, explain why the moment was meaningful to you and how you used that experience to mature. Avoid talking about grades and test scores unless you’re trying to show how you significantly improved or managed to do well despite some personal obstacles. The accomplishment also doesn’t have to be remarkable. It could be as simple as shopping at a grocery store in a foreign country for the first time or learning a new skill. In your first paragraph, you should (1) introduce the accomplishment, event or realization and (2) briefly explain why this moment was meaningful to you in terms of self-reflection and personal growth. In the next paragraphs, elaborate on the resulting intellectual and emotial journey. What did you learn about yourself? Why do you think you’re a better person because of the experience? Would you change anything about the experience? If so, how and why? Make sure you spend the time to critically think about the significance of the event or accomplishment you highlight. Rather than describe the gritty details of the moment itself, explore how you’ve changed. In what ways do you still need improvement? What do you intend to do with this new understanding of who you are? Have or will you change your approach to newer experiences? Has your growth prepared you for the challenges you may face in college (academically and socially)? If so, how? In other words, how do you plan on growing further in college and beyond? Show your ability to critically assess who you are and who you want to become. Identify the college experience you hope will help you in this endeavor and how your growth will benefit your future community. Remember that this is YOUR story. Each word should focus on your personal development. Are you mature enough to make informed decisions and control your situation? If so, prove it!