Is this one of the FOUR prompts that you would like to write on in your University of California application? Yes? Good choice.
Colleges are eager to see certain qualities in their prospective student. Some of them are leadership, perseverance, maturity, respect, passion and engagement, initiative, intellectual vitality and active thinking. College application essays are all about communicating such personal qualities and this prompt explicitly asks you to talk about one – your creative side. So, should we box creativity to the narrow confines of fine arts and visual arts, or being artistic? Well, that would certainly not be creative☺
Creativity can equally be the strength of an applicant wanting to major in Engineering or English or Psychology or Economics or Science or any other discipline. A creative person is an active thinker and doer. Creativity simply means generating ideas that challenge the norms or a way of doing something or not doing something at all. It means being original and fresh and inspired.
The best way to understand your creative side would be to think of any situation in your life that was a deadlock and when nothing predictable seemed to work. Were you able to think on your feet and generate a new way of doing something?
To give an example, you might be unorganized. Were you able to come up with a creative solution to become more organized? There might be some burning issue in school, have you been able to take some action there? There might be some challenge that you or everyone faced during your internship tenure or community service project, what did you do about that? Have you been able to explore your academic interests outside the classroom creatively? Were you able to bring more meaning to your passion by linking it to a greater cause? These are just some ideas. What is important is to elucidate the concrete steps that you took in your situation. What did you create and execute?
Like any other skill that is polished over time, creativity can be brought to the fore only through consistent action and by throwing yourself wholeheartedly into a task. It is not about coming up with the occasional good idea. Be sure to reflect on why your creativity is not limited to that one specific instance. Also, Execution of your idea is equally critical.
Even if you are artistic, it will not suffice to mention merely your love for a form of art. What does art bring to your life? How has it shaped you and your dreams? Colleges expect you to dig deeper and describe what concrete steps you take to express that creative side, what you do with that skill and how this skill will help you in pursuing your future goals.
Also, go through the things to consider on this link http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/personal-questions/freshman/index.html for more pointers.
So Start brainstorming and let all your creative juices flow for this prompt 🙂