The college admission essay causes lots of anxiety but believe me it is fun! When else do you get to focus so much time on yourself? It does not matter which prompt you answer, the topic of the essay is always the same Y-O-U. And what is the enjoyable part? Reflecting and thinking about who you are, what you love, what is important to you and what you want to do.
Hopefully the essay will help you learn about yourself and you will grow. Learn as much as you can before starting and read college essay tips.
First a little background…
The Common Application and also most other college applications require the candidates to write a personal essay. Typically, you choose one of five questions or prompts. The prompts are very general and can yield many interesting college essay topics. Last year’s Common Application essays had a word limit of 650 words.
Colleges will learn about you from your transcript and standardized test scores but those are just numbers. Colleges are assembling a residential community and they want to decide who is coming to campus. They want to know who you are. What characteristics do you possess? How do you handle challenge? or failure? What drives you?
The essay is a chance for the admissions officers to meet you. Think about it… if you were choosing between several candidates for admission, with similar qualifications and you know one of them, which one would you choose? Human nature -- you pick the person you know. If written properly, the admissions officers will be able to get to know you from your college admission essay. Don’t you always cheer for the protagonist in a novel? This is your chance and your story.
Your writing should use a casual style and must capture your voice. It can be written in the first person. The essay needs to be well written with a beginning, a middle and an end. It should be clear and well organized. You may need some coaching or editing, but be very careful that the essay sounds like you and not like a parent or teacher. Before getting started, read some college essay examples. You want to be original and tell your story however, it helps to understand what makes a good essay.