Tips from an expert!
While reviewing your essay, ask if this topic is important to you. Are you the only one who could have written it in this way? Make it personal, deeply felt, and authentic as it exposes the real you in a positive light, not who you think they want to see. An inauthentic voice or story shines through very easily. Remember to have your essay reviewed by a teacher, counselor or parent!
Topics to Avoid When Writing a College Essay
There are some topics that are overused and as Admissions Counselors read them, they describe them as “Another essay on…”
- How I lost/won the big game.
- How I made/did not make the team
- Death of a grandparent or pet (sad, however it is overused)
- Reaction to natural disasters
- Detailed description of a service experience or mission trip
- Views on politics or religion
- Any demonstration of illegal behavior
- A review of what is on the resume
- The most important person in your life
- Revealing something too private to write about
- Boyfriend/Girlfriend relationship issues
- Discussing works of art or historical events
- Focusing on your flaws
- Starting with a famous quote
If you feel inclined to use an overused topic, you must make it your own and showcase it in a unique way.
Tell Your Story When Writing a College Essay
The essay should be a mix of psychology and philosophy. What defines who you are and what do you stand for? What is your personality like and what are your values?
Tell your story in a creative, well-written manner. Take the reader on a journey beginning with a captivating short story to how this impacted your life and finish with an insightful summary. The essay should sound like an intelligent, passionate and authentic seventeen-year old wrote it.
Would you want to be this student’s roommate? Does it sound like this is someone who will bring value to the campus community? Ask yourself if you are proud of the essay and if it accurately reflects who you are – a young adult who is growing, learning and finding your way in the world.
Ask yourself if you would be impressed with this essay if you were on the Admissions Committee. Would you feel it is memorable and moving? If so, congratulations! You have done a great job!