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The fifth prompt on the Common Application asks you to discuss an accomplishment or event that helped you mature and become an adult. The biggest challenge associated with this prompt is finding that ‘accomplishment or event’. By the way, is there any accomplishment that will turn you into an adult overnight? Well, very few students can come up with something like that. In fact, most of us attain maturity over several years and through numerous learning experiences. That said, there are still events and achievements that profoundly change the way we look at life.

Before you start writing, think about all those events or experiences that were significant moments in your life. You want to write about something you value highly. Here are some options.


An Accomplishment can be reaching a certain goal that you have set for yourself. It could be finding a place in your national football team or performing solo in front of a large audience. Or you can write about something you did independently for the first time. For example, you could have tried parasailing or prepared a meal for the family. All of these are achievements.

Overcoming or learning to live with a disability or handicap is another achievement. In the same way, launching your own business is an achievement. Other achievements that you can write about are successfully navigating from a dangerous or problematic situation. For students hailing from an abusive family background, extricating themselves from that situation is nothing short of an achievement.

As you can see, there are quite a few things that you can discuss.


The event could be a milestone in your life such as winning a coveted scholarship or a prestigious prize. Or it could be an interaction with someone that opens your awareness in a profound way.

It could even be a sudden loss or a world event that changes your perception of life. No matter which event or accomplishment you decide to write about, make sure that it played a significant role in shaping your life and world view.


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