Pretend They’re Your Uber Driver: Tell Admissions Officers Your Whole Story
An optional essay is always “optional,” so if you have the opportunity to showcase yourself further on your application — DO IT! It can be a valuable and additive component to your application; however, you must use it to your advantage in the right way.
Explain Gaps or Weaknesses
Include New / Additional Positive information
Be sure to use the optional essay to strengthen your candidacy by sharing information you were unable to share in other areas of your application. Make note of the topics you’d like to cover and you will likely be able to find a way to string them together in the optional essay, even if there is a prompt or specific weakness you are obligated to address.