College application season is coming up, and it may seem like you have no idea what is going on, or you feel unprepared and rushed, with no clue about what to write for your personal essay for college admissions. You believe it’s crucial to write a quality essay that stands out from millions of applications, and you're right. Nonetheless you have to get yourself together, and show them what you are capable of! In order to alleviate some of your stress, I decided to share 7 tips for writing a personal essay for college admissions because believe it or not, we are in the same boat!
1. Reveal Yourself
The whole point of a personal essay for college admissions is to animate your application; all admission officers see is your good grades and extracurricular activities, but yet they know nothing about you! Believe me, there are thousands of other applicants with the same grades and accomplishments as you, so you need to stand out and focus the attention on your application. Write about your own idiosyncrasy that would make you memorable!
2. Pick a Topic You Are Passionate about
Forcing yourself to write about something that you think the admission officers would like is senseless. Not only would you make it harder on yourself, but anyone who reads your essay would indicate how detached you are from the subject. So choose a topic you feel passionate about, something that inspires you! And before you know it, you’ll have an explosion of ideas that would make one hell of an essay!
3. Avoid Clichés
Admission officers have to read hundreds of essays that can get tiring if they all contain cliché statements. They are boring and overused! You have to be original and every sentence has to be freshly thought-out. You want to connect with your reader which would be impossible to do if you don’t connect with the essay yourself!
4. Avoid Anything Too Risky and Controversial
Keep in mind that your essay will be read by a wide variety of people who all have their own beliefs and opinions. Moreover you want to appeal to the broadest audience possible, so avoid talking about politics or religion. You want to evoke positive feelings and abstain from making damage to your application.
5. Avoid Listing All of Your Accomplishments
Some things should be left out of personal statements, like the ongoing list of your accomplishments and success. It’s important to not sound egotistic and focus on one achievement or occurrence in your life that’s important to you. Trust me, they can get a sense of all of your success through other things on your application. Your essay should be used to deepen their understanding of you.
6. Show Your Writing Skills
Personal essays should not be taken slightly; it is one thing that can sway your acceptance from a "no" to a "yes." This is the main reason why you want to sound sophisticated and deliver your thoughts explicitly. If it has always been hard for you to express and deliver your thoughts on paper accurately, it would be a good idea to practice writing in advance!
7. Follow Instructions
You are given instructions for a reason, and if those instructions say that the essay should be written in no less than 250 words but no more than 650, then that is what you have to do. You don’t want to give an impression that you can’t follow basic directions!
Remember personal essays are part of the application as an advantage to you! You are given a chance to show them why they should choose you and what makes you unique. What would be your one piece of advice when writing an effective personal essay? Share in the comments!