Feel Yourself as a Writer

Finally, and importantly, schools want to see that you can write an essay.

Surprise: even if you’re dead set on becoming a computer engineer and don’t plan on reading a word of Austen for the rest of your life, you’ll have to write essays in college. A lot.

The admission essay gives colleges a chance to see not only how well you put your sentences together but how cohesively you can organize information and stick to a theme. Not all schools take the SAT and/or request the optional ACT essay, so this personal statement may be your only chance.

Besides, standardized test essays are written under a time crunch. The application essay can be polished to a shine.

“But wait!” Thou protesteth. “You just said this is about being 100 percent me! Shouldn’t I just ‘be myself,’ write out my thoughts, and submit?”

As you’ll discover in later chapters here, being yourself includes working hard on your essay writing. You can and should showcase your individual style, but you should also take the time and care to make it your very best.

Stress? No. Work? Yes. But with planning, strategy, and plenty of time, you’ll find this among the best work you’ve done.