In her letter, your friend Morgane covered the following points:
- a description of the facilities at her school
- a description of her school day
- details of the school rules
- opinions about her subjects and teachers
- what further studies she wants to do
Mon collège s’appelle le Collège Diderot. Il est assez grand car il y a huit cents élèves et soixante-dix professeurs. C’est un collège assez moderne avec un gymnase, une grande bibliothèque et trois salles d’informatique.
Normalement, j’arrive au collège à huit heures moins le quart. Je vais au collège en vélo car ce n’est pas trop loin de chez moi. Nous commençons à huit heures et nous avons jusqu’à sept leçons par jour. Heureusement, nous avons aussi des heures libres où nous pouvons aller à la bibliothèque ou rentrer chez nous ! Les cours durent cinquante-cinq minutes et nous finissons la journée à cinq heures. La récréation dure vingt minutes le matin et nous prenons une pause déjeuner de deux heures. Je rentre à la maison pour le déjeuner, mais mes amis qui habitent plus loin mangent à la cantine.
Le règlement de mon collège est assez strict, mais je pense qu’il est efficace. Nous devons être ponctuels et apporter nos affaires et les devoirs pour chaque leçon. Nous n’avons pas d’uniforme, mais nous devons être habillés de façon respectable et pratique. Par exemple, pas de T-shirts avec des slogans offensifs, de grandes boucles d’oreille ou piercing qui pourraient être dangereux, etc. Nous n’avons pas non plus le droit de manger ou d’utiliser notre portable en classe.
J’étudie les maths, le français, les sciences, la technologie, l’histoire-géo, l’éducation physique et l’éducation civique. Comme je suis en quatrième, je dois étudier deux langues vivantes. J’ai choisi l’anglais et l’espagnol et j’adore vraiment ça ! Mon cours préféré, c’est l’espagnol car le prof est vraiment très sympa et il explique bien les choses.
Plus tard, j’aimerais continuer à étudier les langues. Je voudrais apprendre le chinois car c’est une langue vraiment fascinante. J’espère avoir mon baccalauréat et aller à l’université.
Et toi, comment est ton collège ?
My school is called Collège Diderot. It is quite big as there are 800 pupils and 70 teachers. It is quite a modern school with a gym, a big library and three ICT rooms.
Usually, I arrive at school at quarter to eight. I cycle to school as it is not too far from my house. We start at eight o’clock and we have up to seven lessons a day. Fortunately, we also have some free periods when we can go to the library or go home! Lessons last fifty-five minutes and we finish our day at five o’clock. Break time lasts twenty minutes in the morning and we have a two-hour lunch break. I go home for lunch but my friends who live further away eat in the canteen.
My school rules are quite strict but I think that they are effective. We must be punctual and bring our equipment and homework for each lesson. We do not have a uniform but we must be dressed in a respectable and practical way. For example, no t-shirts with rude slogans, no large earrings or piercings that could be dangerous, etc. We are not allowed to eat or use our mobile phone in class either.
I study maths, French, science, technology, history and geography, PE and citizenship. As I am in Year 9, I must study two foreign languages. I chose English and Spanish and I really love them! My favourite lesson is Spanish because the teacher is really friendly and he explains things well.
Later, I would like to continue to study languages. I would like to learn Chinese as it is a really fascinating language. I hope to pass all my A levels and go to university.
What about you, what is your school like?
Essentially, this prompt is asking you, “What are you passionate about, and why?”
The five pillars (mind, heart, zeal, family, and hope) give a broad outline for five different directions your essay can take. This is a good prompt to choose if you would like a broad prompt to write about and are unsure if some of the other prompts are to your liking. You can basically write about whatever you want for this essay!
Mind: This essay could take the form of an anecdote of when you stood up for something you believe in, or an in-depth explanation of a subject that makes you tick, and why. The important thing to include here is something that has the underlying concept of being a force for good in the world. For example, did you think of a new way to improve your school’s recycling program? Did you invent a scientific tool and get it patented? The idea behind this “pillar” is to showcase the different talents and intellectual passions that applicants can bring to the campus, so if you think this is you, go ahead and use this pillar as the focus of your essay!
Heart and Zeal: This essay should be centered around a passion to which you have dedicated a lot of time and poured your heart and soul into. It could be about how you trained countless hours in the pool, on the track, on the field, in the gym, etc. to finally win that league title or state championship. It could detail the countless hours of research that you contributed to the science lab you interned at, with the pinnacle of the essay revealing the breakthrough that the lab discovered. The important thing here is to write about something you are passionate about, something you worked hard for to achieve.
Family: This is a very relatable approach to take while writing this essay. You could talk about how your immigrant parents taught you to always be humble and respect people’s differences. You could write about how your mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe inspired you to start your own food blog.
This pillar also applies to friends and other people you may consider family. You can be as creative as you want when defining “family!” Is it your literal family? Your best friend? A mentor? Your whole community? This should be about how someone in your life has affected you, and how that effect has shaped you into the person you are today.
Hope: This pillar is heavily calling for an essay about when you overcame an obstacle and prevailed. No, you didn’t have to beat cancer to write about this pillar, but writing about something that matters to you is key. Does your 5-year-old brother, who can list off all the U.S. states and their capitols, give you hope for the future generation? Did you overcome homelessness? A bad teacher? A bad school year?
The important thing to remember when writing this essay is to write about what you learned in addition to the thing you overcame. While sob stories can sometimes be seen as the icing on the cake, admissions officers often get tired of reading them if the writers don’t give any additional information on how they grew from that event. Remember to write about how that event has shaped you for the better, and what you learned from it.
A final piece of advice for this prompt is that even though you can choose as many pillars to write about as you want, you only have 175 words, so make sure you can effectively get your point across in those words — usually this means focusing on one pillar or passion to write about!