"Working with Alicia on my common application essay was an extremely great and beneficial experience. Her guidance was extremely helpful in thinking of the right idea for the essay and in expanding on the topic to best answer the question. She was extremely kind and provided me with many suggestions and ideas that really improved the quality of the essay. In just one hour, she transformed my essay into a strong piece of writing that I feel confident in, and which truly expresses who I am for colleges to see. She also showed me how helpful and important writing outlines for essays is, which is a skill that will greatly help me when I go to college. Overall, Alicia's kindness, leadership, and expertise made the experience extremely great, and this could not have been possible without her assistance!"
The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between 2013 and 2016, but it's now back again for the 2017-18 admissions cycle. Use this option if you have a story to share that doesn't quite fit into any of the options above. However, the first six topics are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. Also, don't equate "topic of your choice" with a license to write a comedy routine or poem (you can submit such things via the "Additional Info" option). Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you. Cleverness is fine, but don't be clever at the expense of meaningful content.
Cameras store metadata in photos associated with the make and model of camera, settings used to make the photo (including ISO, focus, and shutter speed) among other pieces of information. Photo editing tools and photo copying may remove bits of metadata, or add metadata indicating the photo has been modified. A lack of metadata often means it was removed, making it harder to identify the source of the image and verify its validity. If someone is trying to pass off a disingenuous photograph as true and it’s lacking metadata, be wary of its source.