College application time– a time of perpetual stress and excitement for high school seniors. However, this time does not have to be as stressful as it is. All you need to do is break down each part of the application step-by-step. One of the most important steps/components of a college application is the college essay/personal statement. It can be difficult to come up with an idea and write this essay, but here are a few tips to get you started.
There is no harm in starting a college essay early. If you start early, you have more chances to brainstorm, try out different essay styles, and get it revised. Start as soon as you feel a motivation to start writing. I would suggest to start brainstorming and drafting before senior year starts, because once the school year starts, you will be swamped with other work. With more time, you will have more opportunities and chances to craft the best essay possible.
Every college admissions officer will tell you one common thing about the college essay: that the essay needs to represent YOU. Colleges don’t want you writing about something that you are not familiar with– it will be obvious if you have no clue what you are writing about. They want to get to know what type of students they are admitting, so it is always best to be honest. They would rather have someone who is sincere about their passions rather than someone who is obviously faking their interests just for the sake of getting in.
Colleges have thousands of students applying to their college and admissions people will have to read through tons of essays; they don’t want to be reading the same type of essays. So, be original! Brainstorm ideas/topics that are unique to your life. What makes you different than anyone else applying to this college? Why should this college pick you and your interests over the other students that are applying? Every single person has something that makes them a unique person, so showcase that something in your essay.
I can’t say this enough times, but rereading and revision is key. This essay is a part of your personal brand. When college admissions personnel are reading this essay, they consider this essay to represent you. Therefore, you would want the essay to be both grammatically correct, and you would want it to be the best possible representation of you. For this to happen, you need to reread your essays and revise them. It’s better for you to notice and correct any mistakes in your essay, rather than having the admissions officer notice those same mistakes.
Lastly, don’t be too caught up by this essay. This essay is not a make-or-break situation; it won’t get you flat out rejected from a college, but it also won’t be the only reason why you are accepted. College admissions is a confusing process and it consists of many, various components. Just write the essay using your heart and your mind, and make it something that you would want to represent you.