Should I Write About Health Issues in my Common App Essay?

Dealing with health issues is unfortunately sometimes part of life and certainly nothing to be ashamed about. If you are suffering (or have suffered) from a serious illness or ailment, physical or mental, then it has probably had a considerable impact on your life. If that’s that case, then you should let the colleges you’re applying to know.  

There is an additional information section on the common app, and that is where you are given space to explain health issues. And you should take advantage of it. This is where you address gaps in your transcript, explain poor attendance rates, and clarify anything else that stands out on your application that was caused by an illness. While it’s important that this information is included, it by no means explains who you are as a person.

So no, you shouldn’t write your college essay about a sickness. Health issues should not be the focal point of your common app essay because you have so much more to offer than that. You are not your illness, and you should be using those 650 words to explain part of who you really are, how you think, how your brain works, or why your bookshelf is organized by genre and not alphabetically. If you were previously considering honing in on a health issue for your common app essay, start by reading this blog post about to write a college essay about yourself.  

If you want help brainstorming (and writing) an essay that stands out, contact us here.