College admissions committees are looking for three things in your essays: your unique perspective, strong writing, and your authentic voice. Write as if you are talking to a friend and you are sharing something very important with them: not something they already know, but something that is yours alone.
To explore which topics make sense for you, start with almost any important moment in your life—or even an everyday moment—and walk the reader through your unique experience. It doesn’t need to be complicated or perfect—colleges are looking for real people, and real people are not perfect.
Service trips often involve physical work; start by remembering the details of the work itself.
When you found yourself face-to-face with new people, what did you say and do?
Dude sure knew how to wear a pair of buckskin breeches. My talents include complaining, criticizing other people’s fashion choices, and bloodletting. My long-term goals: graduate in four years, find a decent job in my field, and have a sizable amount in my 401k by the time I’m 40. The world is ending in 2017 thanks to a solar eclipse, or something of that nature.
My favorite book is the one I’m going to write some day. ” Here are three essay topics many students try and fail to write: Many people start with these three topics, and there’s nothing wrong with them.But they don’t work as college admission or scholarship essays. As my poetry professor at the University of Virginia often said, “There’s nothing wrong with that. If I could bring anyone from history back to life, it would be the fearsome pirate Blackbeard. For me, the road to self-actualization began the first time I ever set something on fire. I have many interests, including but not limited to sharks, bread, and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A problem I would like to solve is global poverty, and also the rampant misconception that Thin Mints are the best Girl Scout Cookie when clearly it is Tagalongs.At Story To College, we call these essays “scripts.” They are vague, general topics that many people can write. But it doesn’t hurt enough.”By “hurt enough,” he meant that powerful writing begins at a place of personal vulnerability, where things are messy and uncertain.In order to write a college application essay that connects with readers and gets you noticed, you need to explore the more complicated and ambiguous moments your own experience.Many students have blips in their high school records, and you want to explain them.But your personal essays should be about your character, not your academic record.While being random and perusing my computer, I came across a folder labeled “College Papers.” It was a gold mine, if “gold mine” now means “painful reminder of my past inadequacies and immaturity.” There were about 25 documents from undergrad: essays, research papers and other things to let me know I’ve come A LONG WAY in this writing game. The oldest document was the personal statement I had to write when I was applying to college.I opened it and was horrified at how terrible it was. Praise Elohim for high test scores because I might have been so short.