College Essay Writing Advice

Students often see the essay as a persuasive tool to somehow talk a school into taking them. But have you ever thought that you might not want to be taken?

When you write a college essay that is 100 percent you—quirks and all—and a college accepts you, you know you’re headed to the right place.

But when you contort your personality and words into a college essay tailor-made for a school, stripping any semblance of your true self, you might find yourself a stranger in a strange land when September hits.

Imagine you spend days getting ready for a party. You know one of the “cool kids” is going to be there, so you shop for clothes you don’t normally wear, create playlists of bands you don’t normally listen to, and get all the dirt on the people he doesn’t like. You fake your way through the party and get his attention. Great! Now he wants to hang out.

The problem is, he’s not really hanging out with you. Before long, you’ll grow exhausted trying to fit into his world and return to the world you know and love—the world that loves you for who you are.

If you’ve done all you can to let your best self shine on the page, but you don’t make it into that “dream” school, maybe that school wasn’t so dreamy in the first place. For you. It could be perfect for your older sister or lab partner, but these four years are not about them.

They are about (getting the theme here?) you.