The school year is coming to a close, and you’re getting excited about summer and all its possibilities. But nagging there in the back of your mind is this little thought that won’t leave you alone. Your college essay. You can put it off or pretend it’s not there, but eventually, you’ll have to face it, and now is as good a time as any!
Here’s the good news. It doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, writing it just may stir you up in a way you never expected. It’s a time to reflect on all that has brought you here, all that you are working on, and all that you’re looking forward to. YOU are the promise of so much ahead, and this essay is your chance to show it.
Here are some steps to help you over whatever has you stuck or procrastinating:
- Start Early
Don’t wait until the last minute. Start brainstorming and drafting ideas as soon as possible. This will give you time to reflect on your experiences, get feedback from teachers and peers, and revise your writing.
- Read the Prompts Carefully
Each college application will have different essay prompts. Make sure you read them carefully and understand what is being asked of you. It’s great when you can gear your foundational essay to fit multiple prompts – but always be sure to identify key themes or keywords in the prompt that you should address in your essay.
- Focus on a Specific Experience
Rather than trying to write about your entire life story, focus on a specific experience or moment that has had a significant impact on you. This could be a personal challenge you have overcome, a meaningful relationship, or a transformative experience. By focusing on a specific event, you can dive deeper into your reflections and convey a more meaningful message to the reader.
- Show, Don’t Tell
One of the most important tips for writing a strong college essay is to show, not tell. Instead of simply stating that you are a hard worker, for example, share a specific example of when you demonstrated your work ethic. This will make your essay more engaging and memorable for the reader.
- Get Feedback
Share your essay with trusted teachers, peers, or family members for feedback. This can help you identify areas that need improvement and refine your message. However, keep in mind that too many opinions can be overwhelming. Seek out feedback from a small, select group of individuals whose opinions you value.
- Edit, Edit, Edit
Once the essay is written, revise and edit it multiple times. If something doesn’t flow or read right, change it. This may involve cutting out unnecessary details, rephrasing sentences, or adding more descriptive language. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. A polished, error-free essay will demonstrate to the reader that you are a thoughtful and detail-oriented individual.
- Be Yourself
Finally, be yourself in your essay. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your unique personality and experiences, so let your voice shine through. Authenticity and honesty will go a long way in making your essay stand out from the rest.
Capturing who you are in “X” amount of words is no simple task, but it’s a challenge worth facing. The result just might make you believe in yourself as much as you want the admissions board to believe in you!
Want to hear more? We have a panel lined up to deliver a live webinar on this exact subject. Register for free to listen live or receive a free recording of the broadcast on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 6pm ET.
Still struggling? We have experts just for this to get you unstuck and on your way.