Writing a college admission essay only adds to the pressure when you’re going through decisions such as deciding your major, deciding a college, finding out about the scholarship program etc. And pressure does not always lead to good work. Your college application essay is the most important ticket to get into a good college and as easy as it may sound to sum up your life, it is not! The essay needs to be self revelatory, it needs to sum up your life and make it sound like you’ve had a purpose all along while bringing your uniqueness in front of your potential faculty. Still sounds easy?
If not, we have some tips for you to help you get started:
Start with a small anecdote
Most people start their essay with a famous quote by some one famous but I think it is important for your essay to be personal and have some character. Since beginning is the most important part of the paper start with a small tale from your life. This could be a funny tale or an intimate one, just try to pick one that defines you or that affected you enough to transform you.
Tell them what you have to offer
Begin then by telling them what you have to offer to the faculty. Express who you really are, because that’s what the admission faculty is looking for. Also try not to summarize your entire life because it’s neither possible nor very interesting. Offer a slice of your life instead.
Put on the shoes of the review board
Think of yourself as the admission officer and ask yourself what would you look for in a student. Would you want some passionate and enthusiastic about learning or someone who’s essay is flat, devoid of emotions? This can become the starting premise for you. Included the interesting facts about you, ones that may elicit some emotion in the reader.
Choose your topic carefully
Take as much time choosing your topic as you will writing it. It’s as important as the write up. Try to be off beat because it might give you an edge over the hundreds of applications that you are competing with. So try to take a different road, instead of the common one and make sure you add a different and original perspective to it. In fact here are some topics you might want to avoid:
- A person you admire
- A camp trip you went for
- A mission you undertook
Remember these questions
If you can’t work out a course of action, ask yourself these questions:
- What are you most proud of in life?
- What is it that makes you different from family and friends? What makes you like them?
- What is the one thing you are good at? What is the one thing you really believe in?
- What is the one quality about you that everyone admires?
- How has your family shaped your perception of the world?
Know the purpose of the application essay
It may seem difficult to fathom why all this fuss about a paper and why is it so important but the rationale is simple. The University wants to assess your writing style, how clear you are in your thoughts and how you express them. They are looking for students who are open to learning from life and can contribute to the world in a unique way. That is the kind of person you have to show them.
Stick to the point
This essay is not your term paper, so let brevity be your guiding principle. Stick to the point, be precise and try not to wander off topic. At the same time keep your tone informal and let your personality shine through. Also make sure you stick to the word limit set by the college.
Stick to the instructions provided
Go through the instructions set by the University carefully and many times over. Your essay is about you and the content should reflect your personality but the packaging has to fit the University’s guidelines. If you fail to do this then you are not making a very good impression on the University.
Don’t try too hard
Breathe. Don’t let the pressure get to you. It’ll only make you sound either desperate or fake. You don’t need to have a fancy vocabulary or grand life to make yourself sound interesting. All you need is a decent amount of honesty and self awareness. You can read some essays for inspirations and talk to a counselor for some feedback once you’re done.
Edit, Proofread, Wrap up
Make sure you review what yo have written many times over. Check for grammatical and punctuation errors, check spellings and make sure you haven’t eaten any words and you’re good to go.
So, Good luck! Ace that phase!