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Here’s what a first attempt at describing this might look like: The first time I marched in front of a crowd, I was so nervous.
The more ideas, the better, as you often find your best ideas only after getting the obvious ones out of the way.
Speaking of obvious ideas, the biggest piece of advice I can give about writing college essays is this: avoid the obvious.
When you’re juggling transcripts, forms, dates, and everything else, it’s easy to brush off the college application essay as “just another part of the application.”However, while it’s true that the essay isn’t the only thing that matters to college admissions officers, a great essay can actually compensate for less than stellar grades. Most of the other parts of the application are just lists and statistics: GPA, courses taken, a list of extracurriculars, maybe some work or volunteer experience.
This stuff matters…but it doesn’t make you special.
Here are a few things to avoid writing about: Really, the success of your essay will come down not to what you write about, but how.
In general, it’s much easier to stand out on the basis of how you approach your topic than what you say.There are so many ways to succeed at these essays, so long as you keep your approach interesting.And the best way to be interesting is to avoid boring, overused answers that admissions officers will have read literally thousands of times.You have to remember that the person reading your essay knows nothing about you, save for a few basic statistics.Furthermore, they likely know nothing about the subject of your essay.That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.Don’t pick a prompt just because you think answering it will make you sound “impressive.” This quote by former Stanford University Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet focuses on course selection, but it applies perfectly to essays as well: it that matters.It’s impossible to write an article covering every possible essay prompt you could encounter in the college application process. S., the types of questions vary somewhat among different schools – to say nothing of what you might encounter at schools in other countries. For some good examples, here are the five questions from this year’s Common Application (a kind of “master application” accepted by many U. colleges and universities): As you can see, these questions are all very open-ended. Colleges want to give you as much freedom as possible to show them who you are.The prompts are just supposed to be starting points.Even if they do, they certainly don’t have the same knowledge and perspective that you have.To close this gap, you need to be as specific as possible. Let’s say you’ve decided to write about your time in high school marching band; specifically, you’re recounting the first time your performed with the band in front of a crowd (I use this example because it’s something I’m personally familiar with).