That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.
This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.
It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.
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.
He’s almost certainly either a genius mech pilot or the subject of some prophecy in an alternate dimension that he’ll be transported to.
Now, it’s certainly that you happen to be that guy, and I definitely encourage you to highlight any uncommon experience you’ve had on your essay. Everest or visited space or helped cure a rare disease, then yeah, you should probably mention that at some point.If you’ve never done it before, free writing is just taking a topic and writing anything that comes into your head.Just take a blank document or sheet of paper, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and start writing.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.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.For the most part, it’s unlikely that you’ve experienced anything extremely uncommon in the relatively short amount of time you’ve been a human.Most high school students lead lives that don’t deviate too far from the norm – except that one quiet guy in your class who sits next to the window near the back.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.