I am applying to Clemson University and I am on the essay portion of the application. I am not sure what to write about. I was thinking about touching on how a drug dependency contributed to damaged academic credentials my junior and senior years in high school and my first few semesters at technical college, and then mentioning how I have changed and I make good grades and how I have always made good grades (until the drug thing led me to just NOT doing anything- skipping school, not completing assignments, etc...). I only plan on touching on this vaguely, and spending the rest of the essay mentioning my hobbies and interests and why it has always been a dream of mine to attend Clemson University.
The problem is I don't know what a college application essay should be like, and I don't know if I would be crossing the line. I could see my essay being a big deciding factor on whether or not I get accepted, (because my credentials are ok but they aren't amazing- due to a period of poor academic performance and drug abuse) and I think it all depends on who is reading it. My college GPA is a 3.4 right now but my completion rate sucks and I did poorly in high school (had over a 4.0 my freshman and sophomore years but had something like a 2.0 my senior year). I just think that an essay explaining why I did poorly during that time period, and how I am a better person now- in addition to why I really like the school could help me....
But, I am not sure, and that's why I am asking people over the internet about it. So what do you think? Is this way out of line for a college essay? Would I be damaging my chance of acceptance? I do not plan on writing a long drawn out story of explicit drug use. It will only be a few vague sentences to describe my academic performance. The main focus of the essay will be who I am today and why it has been a dream of mine to go to school there. (but much more in detail and written in a much more formal manner than I wrote this question)
College Application Essays