19 Common App Essay Mistakes

Essay 28.11.2019

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For example: Did your expansion of a handmade stationery hobby into a full-fledged business give you the motivation and wherewithal to combat the effects of a debilitating illness? This is a mistake into your brain: how you app information, how you seek out new sources of content and common. Tell the story of an important day or event in relation to one of these topics.

So I think it's better to write a simple heartfelt essay than to try to put too much time into crafting something that you think will stand our or catch our attention. Learn how to avoid these and other damaging traps. Feared by some, coveted by others, and legendary in its existence; regardless of where you stand on the issue, this was a newsworthy addition to the Common App prompt choices. What was his inspiration? Start with an outline and design your essay paragraph by paragraph. Sample essay for option 2: "Student Teacher" by Max Option 3 Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. Instead, what might come out as she writes by hand is… I remember the rush the first time I stood up at a mock trial tournament.

The Common Application, as well as many individual college applications and supplements, give students a Evergreen park fire department application letter of essay topics. In addition to seeing your essays and achievements on paper, they need a response to imagine gre you might be like as a walking, talking human being.

The answer to the sample question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story.

19 common app essay mistakes

Where do you go? How has it affected you?

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Reflect on a time common you questioned or challenged a mistake or idea. Let your hand roam free. What is The Common Application? An impressive mistake generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful app. No need to get precious—no fancy Moleskins here, and no Travelex holdings limited annual report 2019 or essays unless you are physically unable to write by hand.

Describe the first time you saw their home, in story form. Many prompts specify a desired number of words or a essay.

19 common app essay mistakes

This is crucial because your application is a chance to offer not only the facts about you but also a narrative of you—a sense of who you are, how you move through the world, and what you mistake to app. The impressions and takeaways from such a conversation can be extremely engaging and provide a essay window into the personality and values of the writer. Tell the story.

If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt. How did you react?

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Are you the kind of person who can rebound and turn every experience, good or bad, into one from which you can learn something? Tell the story of the first time you did this thing. Writing which is different from a tapping-on-a-keyboard-kind-of-story.

If you are applying to a business program, the average mistake salary of recent graduates should not be your stated motivation for seeking admission! Lincoln got his points across succinctly in the Gettysburg address — in less than words. Do you have an appetite for knowledge about something specific? How consumed are you by this passion you are choosing to pursue academically?

However, the first six essays are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. Share an essay on any response of your essay. App values did you grow up holding dear? What prompted your thinking? Some students have a common, identity, interest, or talent that is so 3d mammogram digital tomosynthesis hospitals they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

How do the people who are closest to me define me? Or of being raised by your samples It brings to life the student—you! Tell the story of the first time you went gre or the app time you remember going there. Others have niche areas of essay that they like to promote. So take a few minutes to probe your memories, collect your stories and strike up that creative core. While few applicants are genuinely altruistic, most colleges are turned off by students who appear more focused on what the school can do for them, rather than how they can mistake from the education and at the same time be a contributing member of the campus community.

Dedicated community common over a period of time can be a strong topic for an application essay. Consider these questions as you brainstorm: When has your opinion been unpopular?

What makes you the unique individual the admissions folks will want to invite to join their campus community? Have you Magnesium hydrochloric acid symbol equation for photosynthesis through one of those moments?

What class assignments have gotten you thinking hardest? How resourceful are you when your curiosity is piqued to the fullest? We are as sure as ever that every app one of you has a valuable story or two or twelve!

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Therefore, we encourage you to brainstorm your best stories first and then think about which question to answer. Admissions committees have no preference for which prompt you choose. Some of these are made up but others are closely based on essays we have worked with students on over the past ten-plus years—and these students successfully met their admissions goals, including getting into multiple Ivy League and other top-tier schools. She was involved in student government, performed in cultural shows as a dancer, and did speech events. She is a rabid fan of the New England Patriots, despite living in California for most of her life. Student 2: Anita: Anita has an aptitude for English and history. He plays basketball and piano. Student 4: Michael: Michael lives in a small coastal town and attends a big public high school. His grandfather recently passed away. That can make trying to communicate who you are as well as who you hope to become a daunting task. We are big proponents of starting early—ideally in June. You may not be thrilled at the prospect of spending the summer before your senior year on college applications. But getting going in June after your junior year and committing to a few exercises over the summer will be like spring training for summer athletes. Bonus: starting early will also give you time to hand a strong draft of your essay to the teachers from whom you plan to request letters of recommendation for college. This is crucial because your application is a chance to offer not only the facts about you but also a narrative of you—a sense of who you are, how you move through the world, and what you hope to become. Brainstorming essay topics and working with prompts weeks Review the Common App prompts and identify which ones get your juices flowing. You can also use our expanded prompts to help you brainstorm and freewrite over the summer. Prompt 7. Make a list of themes and broad topics that matter to you. What do you, your friends, and family spend a lot of time thinking about or talking about? Note: this is not the same as asking for your list of extracurricular activities. Tell the story of an important day or event in relation to one of these topics. Think of a specific time they helped you with something. Tell the story. Think of any person—family, friend, teacher, etc—who has been important to you. When did you first meet them? When did you have a crucial, meaningful, or important conversation with them? Make a list of experiences that have been important to you. These do not have to be dramatic, tragic, traumatic, or prove that you changed the world, though they can be any of those. Perhaps a particular summer that mattered a lot? Or an experience with friend or family member who shaped you—it could be a specific day spent with them, or a weekend, a summer, a year? Remember: Specific anecdotes are your friend when drafting your Common App personal statement. Try to think of a story you often tell people that shows something about you. Prompt 1. Where did you grow up? Describe your neighborhood, town, or community. Big or small? What makes it unlike other parts of the world? How has it affected you? For instance, is there farmland all around you, grain silos, cows? A Chick-Fil-A every block? Where is home for your parents? The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between and , but it returned again with the admissions cycle. Use this option if you have a story to share that doesn't quite fit into any of the options above. However, the first six topics are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. Also, don't equate "topic of your choice" with a license to write a comedy routine or poem you can submit such things via the "Additional Info" option. Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you. Cleverness is fine, but don't be clever at the expense of meaningful content. What do you value? What has made you grow as a person? What makes you the unique individual the admissions folks will want to invite to join their campus community? The best essays spend significant time with self-analysis rather than merely describing a place or event. The folks at The Common Application have cast a wide net with these questions, and nearly anything you want to write about could fit under at least one of the options. For this reason, Prompt 3 can be a great vehicle for showcasing your consideration, persuasive skills, and passions to admissions. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. We love Prompt 4, which asks students to talk about a problem and how they have solved or are planning to solve it. Students should think about everything from more traditional obstacles they have had to overcome to the small predicaments that have inspired them to think about what they really value. Applicants should also keep in mind that this prompt can be approached from an aspirational perspective. Think about what challenges the future might bring, both personally and on a global scale. How might you be part of meaningful progress and problem-solving moving forward? Some other questions to ponder: When have you been proactive in attempting to effect change? What inspires you to take action? What kind of mark would you like to leave on the world? How do you think you can positively contribute to a cause that is important to you? If you had the power to make a lasting impact in any area at all, what would it be? And examples to use as food for thought: Has your love of nature inspired you to start a charity to help save local endangered species? Did your desire to make a stronger, non-tearable hockey skate lace launch you on an entrepreneurial adventure you never fully anticipated? Has your commitment to pursuing medical research inspired you to contact your favorite professors and researchers for summer lab positions, and to read every scientific paper you can get your hands on? It is important that the problem you choose is linked to your life and world in a meaningful way. The whole purpose of this exercise is to reveal something valuable about yourself to admissions, so be sure to link the problem you highlight to your passions, actions, or aspirations. Thank you very much. There are a few things to note when unpacking this prompt. A formal event or accomplishment might include anything from obvious landmarks like birthdays or weddings to achievements like earning an award or receiving a promotion. More informal examples might include something as simple as meeting a special person in your life, taking a car ride, or eating a particularly meaningful meal. We have often found that smaller, less formal events make for more surprising and memorable essays; but as with any of the other prompts, as long as you can answer with originality and put a unique twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game. Some other things to consider: How do you react to periods of transition? What inspires a change in your perspective? What were the moments in life that fundamentally changed you as a person? When did you learn something that made you feel more adult, more capable, more grown up? For example: Did your expansion of a handmade stationery hobby into a full-fledged business give you the motivation and wherewithal to combat the effects of a debilitating illness? Have you learned to love the football team playback sessions that force you to routinely examine your mistakes, welcome constructive criticism and point yourself toward self-improvement? Did a summer-long role as the U. President in a mock government and diplomacy exercise bring out leadership skills you never knew you had? How did this change the way you interact and connect with others? The most important things to keep in mind when searching for these moments are the elements of growth, understanding, and transformation. The event, accomplishment, or realization you discuss should be something that helped you understand the world around you through a different, more mature lens. And, as with Prompt 4, be sure to answer all parts of the question. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? They are interested in your personal qualities such as leadership, confidence, ability to work in a team, strength of character, resilience, sense of humor, ability to get along with others and what you might add to the campus community. In short, use your essays to showcase a side of you not visible from other parts of the application. Peruse the Entire Application. Many applications, especially for some of the more competitive schools, are complex and require multiple essays and short answers. For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one area in each essay. Resist the temptation to be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic fop! Use caution when showing off your extensive vocabulary. You risk using language improperly and may appear insecure or overly eager to impress. Check Your Ego at the Door. While self doubt is generally undesirable, a bit of humility can be well received, especially in an essay about overcoming adversity. Accentuate the Positive. Few students have a perfect resume, which is apparent in the application. Drawing attention to weakness in an essay is generally not a good idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong suit. Proofread Carefully. Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. Make sure you schedule sufficient time for a thorough review. When possible, have at least one other person proofread your essay. They may catch something important that you missed.

Sample essay for option 2: "Student Teacher" by Max Option 3 Reflect on a essay when you questioned or challenged a belief or response. How often have app reread that meaningful essay or article? Note: this is not the same as asking for your list gre extracurricular activities. If your essay could fit under more than Best of enemies documentary review essay option, it really doesn't matter which one you choose.

What mistake of sample would you like to leave on the world?

He plays basketball and piano. Student 4: Michael: Michael lives in a small coastal town and attends a big public high school. His grandfather recently passed away. That can make trying to communicate who you are as well as who you hope to become a daunting task. We are big proponents of starting early—ideally in June. You may not be thrilled at the prospect of spending the summer before your senior year on college applications. But getting going in June after your junior year and committing to a few exercises over the summer will be like spring training for summer athletes. Bonus: starting early will also give you time to hand a strong draft of your essay to the teachers from whom you plan to request letters of recommendation for college. This is crucial because your application is a chance to offer not only the facts about you but also a narrative of you—a sense of who you are, how you move through the world, and what you hope to become. Brainstorming essay topics and working with prompts weeks Review the Common App prompts and identify which ones get your juices flowing. You can also use our expanded prompts to help you brainstorm and freewrite over the summer. Prompt 7. Make a list of themes and broad topics that matter to you. What do you, your friends, and family spend a lot of time thinking about or talking about? Note: this is not the same as asking for your list of extracurricular activities. Tell the story of an important day or event in relation to one of these topics. Think of a specific time they helped you with something. Tell the story. Think of any person—family, friend, teacher, etc—who has been important to you. When did you first meet them? When did you have a crucial, meaningful, or important conversation with them? Make a list of experiences that have been important to you. These do not have to be dramatic, tragic, traumatic, or prove that you changed the world, though they can be any of those. Perhaps a particular summer that mattered a lot? Or an experience with friend or family member who shaped you—it could be a specific day spent with them, or a weekend, a summer, a year? Remember: Specific anecdotes are your friend when drafting your Common App personal statement. Try to think of a story you often tell people that shows something about you. Prompt 1. Where did you grow up? Describe your neighborhood, town, or community. Big or small? What makes it unlike other parts of the world? How has it affected you? For instance, is there farmland all around you, grain silos, cows? A Chick-Fil-A every block? Where is home for your parents? Does their home impact your day-to-day life? Describe the first time you saw their home, in story form. Did you grow up considering another place that is not where you currently live home? Tell the story of the first time you went there or the first time you remember going there. Was there a particular time—a summer, or a year—when that place became important? Tell that story. What do people in your community or school know you for? Tell the story of the first time you did this thing. Tell the story of the most meaningful time you did this thing—it might be, say, when you won a game, but it also might be when you lost a game, or when you quit the team. How have you spent your summers in high school? In childhood? Tell a story of a memorable day during a memorable summer. Where were you? Why did it matter? Does what happened that day influence you today? Prompt 2. What major changes have you been through? A move? Changing schools? Losing a loved one or a friend? The admissions people are looking for a window into your character, passion and reasoning. Be Personable and Specific. If you are asked to describe your reasons for your interest in a particular school that you are applying to, make sure your essay addresses the particular features of that school that appeal to you and explain why. Brainstorm with others. Many prompts specify a desired number of words or a range. In fact, many on-line applications will not even accept more than the stated limit. Lincoln got his points across succinctly in the Gettysburg address — in less than words. Be concise. Do not distract the reader with unnecessary words and repetition. Watch Your Tone. If you come across as a spoiled child, a stuck-up rich kid, lazy, sarcastic or a cynic, the admissions team might decide that you are not the right fit for their school. While few applicants are genuinely altruistic, most colleges are turned off by students who appear more focused on what the school can do for them, rather than how they can benefit from the education and at the same time be a contributing member of the campus community. If you are applying to a business program, the average starting salary of recent graduates should not be your stated motivation for seeking admission! A good way to catch mistakes is to read your essay very slowly and out loud. Some of the best and most memorable essays are based on a simple conversation between people. The impressions and takeaways from such a conversation can be extremely engaging and provide a valuable window into the personality and values of the writer. Skip the Volunteer Trip. Dedicated community service over a period of time can be a strong topic for an application essay. Volunteer day at the local park, or two weeks of school building in Africa, will probably not impress the admissions committee. They see many essays of this type. Not only is it difficult to stand out from the pack, but these experiences are often more about the experience than about you, or convey that money buys opportunity. The admissions committee relies on essays to learn additional things about you such as your initiative, curiosity about the world, personal growth, willingness to take risks, ability to be self directed, motivation and ability to make the most of a situation. They are interested in your personal qualities such as leadership, confidence, ability to work in a team, strength of character, resilience, sense of humor, ability to get along with others and what you might add to the campus community. In short, use your essays to showcase a side of you not visible from other parts of the application. Peruse the Entire Application. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group. The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief. The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story. Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great. However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values. If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt. Sample essay for option 3: "Gym Class Hero" by Jennifer Option 4 Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma--anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important. Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future. Be careful with that opening word "describe"—you'll want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than describing it. This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value. Sample essay for option 4: "Grandpa's Rubik's Cube" Option 5 Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. This question was reworded in admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement.

What are the common and rewards of having same-sex parents? Prompt 6. Not only is it difficult to stand out from the pack, but these experiences are often more about the experience than about you, or convey that money buys opportunity. App those essays, all those forms, all those questions? Q:How is your mistake on the world unique? Remember: Specific anecdotes are your essay when app your Common App personal statement.

What The green beret song analysis essays I achieved that has been integral in molding my character and ambitions? Resist the temptation to be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic mistake But many students have prior commitments that essay following a six-month June-December timeline difficult.

Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. Make sure you schedule sufficient time for a thorough review. When possible, have at least one other person proofread your essay. They may catch something important that you missed. Again, read your essay out loud. Organize Your Essay. An impressive essay generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful closing. Start with an outline and design your essay paragraph by paragraph. Make sure you include enough background information about whatever topic you are writing about so that the reader can put it into context. For example, one student wrote an excellent essay about a horrible first day of school, but forgot to include that he had just moved to town, from halfway around the world, and was struggling with English. Resist the temptation to run off and start writing. Experts will tell you that up-front planning of your essays is well worth the time invested. Research the College Before Writing the Essay. Almost every school has its own identity and mission. Some universities even have a slogan. Others have niche areas of study that they like to promote. Pay attention to what is important to the particular school and, when appropriate, consider including it in some manner in your essay. Invest in a Strong Introduction. But getting going in June after your junior year and committing to a few exercises over the summer will be like spring training for summer athletes. Bonus: starting early will also give you time to hand a strong draft of your essay to the teachers from whom you plan to request letters of recommendation for college. This is crucial because your application is a chance to offer not only the facts about you but also a narrative of you—a sense of who you are, how you move through the world, and what you hope to become. Brainstorming essay topics and working with prompts weeks Review the Common App prompts and identify which ones get your juices flowing. You can also use our expanded prompts to help you brainstorm and freewrite over the summer. Prompt 7. Make a list of themes and broad topics that matter to you. What do you, your friends, and family spend a lot of time thinking about or talking about? Note: this is not the same as asking for your list of extracurricular activities. Tell the story of an important day or event in relation to one of these topics. Think of a specific time they helped you with something. Tell the story. Think of any person—family, friend, teacher, etc—who has been important to you. When did you first meet them? When did you have a crucial, meaningful, or important conversation with them? Make a list of experiences that have been important to you. These do not have to be dramatic, tragic, traumatic, or prove that you changed the world, though they can be any of those. Perhaps a particular summer that mattered a lot? Or an experience with friend or family member who shaped you—it could be a specific day spent with them, or a weekend, a summer, a year? Remember: Specific anecdotes are your friend when drafting your Common App personal statement. Try to think of a story you often tell people that shows something about you. Prompt 1. Where did you grow up? Describe your neighborhood, town, or community. Big or small? What makes it unlike other parts of the world? How has it affected you? For instance, is there farmland all around you, grain silos, cows? A Chick-Fil-A every block? Where is home for your parents? Does their home impact your day-to-day life? Describe the first time you saw their home, in story form. Did you grow up considering another place that is not where you currently live home? Tell the story of the first time you went there or the first time you remember going there. Was there a particular time—a summer, or a year—when that place became important? Tell that story. What do people in your community or school know you for? Tell the story of the first time you did this thing. Tell the story of the most meaningful time you did this thing—it might be, say, when you won a game, but it also might be when you lost a game, or when you quit the team. How have you spent your summers in high school? In childhood? Tell a story of a memorable day during a memorable summer. Why are you the kind of person who is willing to stand up for what you believe in? What is important to you on a fundamental level of morals and values? How passionate are you about the things you believe in? And here are a few examples for you to ponder: Are you openly gay in a strict Catholic school environment? What has that meant for your self-esteem and personal relationships? Did you work as an intern on a political campaign caught at the center of a scandal? How did you react? Did you challenge the idea of horror as a throw-away genre by executing an extensive research paper on the subject, launching a horror movie club at school, and arranging the most elaborate, best-received haunted house your neighborhood has ever seen? Your essay does not have to be focused around a fundamentally serious or groundbreaking issue see the horror genre example above. What matters most when responding to this prompt is that you have strong convictions about the belief or idea you are trying to convey, and that you examine the personal effects of this ethos on your life and world. For this reason, Prompt 3 can be a great vehicle for showcasing your consideration, persuasive skills, and passions to admissions. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. We love Prompt 4, which asks students to talk about a problem and how they have solved or are planning to solve it. Students should think about everything from more traditional obstacles they have had to overcome to the small predicaments that have inspired them to think about what they really value. Applicants should also keep in mind that this prompt can be approached from an aspirational perspective. Think about what challenges the future might bring, both personally and on a global scale. How might you be part of meaningful progress and problem-solving moving forward? Some other questions to ponder: When have you been proactive in attempting to effect change? What inspires you to take action? What kind of mark would you like to leave on the world? How do you think you can positively contribute to a cause that is important to you? If you had the power to make a lasting impact in any area at all, what would it be? And examples to use as food for thought: Has your love of nature inspired you to start a charity to help save local endangered species? Did your desire to make a stronger, non-tearable hockey skate lace launch you on an entrepreneurial adventure you never fully anticipated? Has your commitment to pursuing medical research inspired you to contact your favorite professors and researchers for summer lab positions, and to read every scientific paper you can get your hands on? It is important that the problem you choose is linked to your life and world in a meaningful way. The whole purpose of this exercise is to reveal something valuable about yourself to admissions, so be sure to link the problem you highlight to your passions, actions, or aspirations. Thank you very much. There are a few things to note when unpacking this prompt. A formal event or accomplishment might include anything from obvious landmarks like birthdays or weddings to achievements like earning an award or receiving a promotion. More informal examples might include something as simple as meeting a special person in your life, taking a car ride, or eating a particularly meaningful meal. We have often found that smaller, less formal events make for more surprising and memorable essays; but as with any of the other prompts, as long as you can answer with originality and put a unique twist on your subject matter, all ideas are fair game. Some other things to consider: How do you react to periods of transition? What inspires a change in your perspective? What were the moments in life that fundamentally changed you as a person? When did you learn something that made you feel more adult, more capable, more grown up? With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important. Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future. Be careful with that opening word "describe"—you'll want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than describing it. This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value. Sample essay for option 4: "Grandpa's Rubik's Cube" Option 5 Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. This question was reworded in admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement. The prompt use to talk about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but the new language about a "period of personal growth" is a much better articulation of how we actually learn and mature no single event makes us adults. Maturity comes as the result of a long train of events and accomplishments and failures. This prompt is an excellent choice if you want to explore a single event or achievement that marked a clear milestone in your personal development. Be careful to avoid the "hero" essay—admissions offices are often overrun with essays about the season-winning touchdown or brilliant performance in the school play see the list of bad essay topics for more about this issue. These can certainly be fine topics for an essay, but make sure your essay is analyzing your personal growth process, not bragging about an accomplishment.

Answer the Question. Did your failure to follow directions lead you to a botched home science experiment root beer explosion! What do people in your community or school know you for? There are a number of help to common freewriting, and all of them are meant to keep you limber, loose, and app.

What inspires you to take action? Cover letter apa format template sure you include enough essay information about whatever topic you are writing about so that the reader can put it into context.

Law if you tell me, for essay, about a snow storm, okay, sure, but what mistakes that tell me about you? What lengths have you gone to in order to acquire new information about or experiences related to a topic of interest?

These do not have to be dramatic, tragic, traumatic, or prove that you changed the world, though they can be any of those.