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"The best ideas come when you least expect them to."| A Seton Hall Alum on College Essays

We had the opportunity of interviewing Noelle Sorich, an alum of Seton Hall University, about: College Essays


In college, Noelle

  • received a degree in International Relations, Economics, and Modern Languages

  • interned with multiple organizations at the UN, and was invited to be the commencement speaker at graduation

  • was the President of the Model United Nations team in Seton Hall, where the team is now ranked within the top 25 programs in the country.



Key points Noelle shares:

  • "Looking back, I would say that It took me a really long time to figure out what I wanted to write about for college. I wish I would have sat myself down and been like, “What has impacted you in your life”, “What makes you who you are?”

  • "One thing I made sure to do is do a couple rounds of edits. Looking back, I wish I would have brainstormed earlier because I think some of the best ideas come to you when you're actively not thinking about it."




What type of story or message did you want to narrate through your application essays?

A: For me, I actually wrote three different essays. I wrote one about me being adopted. And then I talked about the way I felt in nature, because I genuinely really enjoyed being outside. Also, I especially loved the Cascades and Seattle, so I thought it seemed fit to talk about my experience growing up there. My last one was along the same lines, but I can't remember it exactly. Most importantly, I had other people read them, and I asked them what they thought of me for those essays. I asked them which essays felt powerful to them. I think I also wrote one about my faith story and understanding. I did a lot of research into other faiths, because I did grow up Catholic and I thought, “well, do I really want to be Catholic? What else is out there? Is this actually what I believe?” So I think that was my third one.




How did you brainstorm your ideas? What was your thought process even before you began writing?

A: Looking back, I would say that It took me a really long time to figure out what I wanted to write about for college. I wish I would have sat myself down and been like, “What has impacted you in your life”, “What makes you who you are?” The best way to approach it is to look at it from a broader perspective, and just talk about what you are passionate about, why you are passionate about that, and what you want to gain from university.




What did you avoid doing in your essays?

A: I'll be really honest, I didn't want to be vulnerable, and I didn't want to write about things that I hadn't really talked about with myself yet. In fact, I think there were a lot of things in my life that I was feeling reluctant to write about because they were really personal topics for me, and I didn’t know if I wanted to write about that”. What’s interesting is that after I got into Seton Hall, I talked with colleagues and friends about what they wrote about and realized our topics were all over the board - which goes to show that there is no one-way ticket in. I also wish I would have been more honest with myself, and dug deeper into who I am as a person, and why I am that way to convey to a university.




When would you say that you should start preparing to write your essays?

A: I would honestly say as soon as you start to think about college in junior or senior year because it's better to start brainstorming. One thing I made sure to do is do a couple rounds of edits. Looking back, I wish I would have brainstormed earlier because I think some of the best ideas come to you when you're actively not thinking about it.


This interview originally took place in an audio format. However, we have converted it to text to avoid sound quality issues. To ensure coherency, we have slightly modified the wording.