As college application deadlines are around the corner, you are starting to finalize your college essay or maybe you are about to start writing it. Your college essay is a way to show the school a different side of you that cannot be shown from your common application. It is a way for them to connect with you as a person, not as a student.
For me, choosing a topic was easy. I grew up in New York where diversity was very present but moved to a very suburban town where there were only a few minorities. It was a big change I adjusted to but it shaped who I am and shaped my education as well. I wrote my college essay on growing up in a suburban environment as a minority and a DACA student. I knew this topic was perfect because I would be able to show the school the hardships I went through, how I overcame it, and how I am better because of it.
There are so many different types of questions you can choose to answer, but ultimately you can write about ANYTHING.
You want your college essay to be focused on a theme. My theme had to do about being a minority and a DACA student. This promotes the diversity that I would bring to the school. This theme should be something that shows what you can bring to the campus and how the school can benefit from having you as a student. It should exemplify your strong attributes and your unique self.
Once you have a theme, start writing about your topic but it is important to be real and truthful. The more authentic you are, the easier it will be to write about. It is very easy for someone to pick up on where things were exaggerated. Normally, we don’t get to personalize our essays for school but this is one of those times where you can. Your authenticity will help the school understand what type of person you are. Let your essay reflect your true identity. Make the reader get an idea of who they may be accepting as a student. The more real you are, the more connected your reader will feel.
You want your reader to feel like they are experiencing the journey with you. You can do this by being descriptive instead of factual. Include the details and explain points that you touch upon that is crucial to the essay. Although you should be illustrative with your essay, it needs to be focused, short, but still effective. There is a word count limit that you must be below. I didn’t think the word count would be a problem until I wrote my essay and went way over the limit. It is important to focus on one idea and roll with it.
Lastly, DO NOT FORGET TO PROOFREAD. I know it feels like you are done but proofreading is a step that cannot be skipped. You may think that you don’t have any mistakes, but you will be surprised. Check for spelling errors and typos. Sometimes when we type a sentence out, it seems fine but when we read it aloud, it makes no sense. Read it out loud in order to catch your mistakes. Once you have proofread your essay, ask your english teacher or your guidance counselor to read your essay as well. Getting a professional to look at your essay will help them catch mistakes that you didn’t find. Them being your teacher, they should be able to pick up on the authenticity of your essay as well.
Your college essay is a very important part of your application and could be dreadful. Starting is always the hard part. This essay may come easy to you because it is so personalized. This is your way to show who you are and why the school should be lucky to have you as a potential student.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” -Maya Angelou