Perfection—in college admission and in life—is often overvalued. What will distinguish your writing and your application is your unique voice.Be willing to take risks, be vulnerable and share your truth.The following are tips for these applicants in developing an authentic, impactful college essay: Don’t read the essay questions, read yourself.
The best way to tell is to have your parents or a friend give a draft of your essay to a colleague or individual who has never met you.
Ask them to read the essay and then respond with three adjectives that describe you and a sentence that captures what they learned. If not, it is back to the drawing board.“Am I done?
Reading the college essay topics for what seems to be the hundredth time, he searches in vain for an event, challenge, accomplishment, obstacle, interest or talent about which to write.
For a fleeting moment, he laments the absence of a personal tragedy to exploit while he sits with the cursor flashing—a pulsating symbol of perplexity. Especially tormented are the perfectionists, you dutiful students who view the college essay as just one more roadblock to be overcome with sheer will.
The college essay is not a test to see if you can read minds or anticipate what the admission office wants to hear.
Plain and simple, they want to know about you, how well you write and how self-aware you are. Regardless of the topic about which you choose to write, be sure the essay reveals more about you than the other characters or places in the story.
His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone.
The first time he received a grade below an “A” on an English paper...trite.
You are writing a personal narrative, not a parable, so don’t feel compelled to conclude with a lesson learned or a happy ending. When you have finished a draft of your essay, read it over and ask yourself why you wrote it.
If you cannot answer this question, you might not be going deep enough or painting a vivid picture of who you are and what is important to you. Have you effectively communicated who you are and what you value?