You may have been the team captain of your high school’s football team. You may have been the best cheerleader. You may have made the grades. And, you may have hundreds of hours of community service. But, all of these might not make a lick of difference if your application essay isn’t good enough. The college admissions game is getting tougher than ever, and students have come to realize that they have to prove themselves above the crowd in every way, including through their writing.
If you ask any college admissions counselor or even your college counselor at your high school about how to write a winning essay, odds are that they will tell you that a winning essay is a true reflection of yourself. And, not only that, but you have to express yourself in a unique way, through a style that can be considered all your own. You may be asking yourself, “How do I do this? What kind of essay would really reflect who I am?”
These questions run through every prospective college student’s head. But, these questions don’t have to haunt you every night before you go to bed. Here are some tips that will help you write a winning essay:
1. As everyone has probably already told you, think of a quality or personal event that has changed you. One way to think about this tip is to write a few childhood stories. If you have any of your old writing that you used to do when you were a kid, these can help. You can draw a complicated lesson from even the most simple of events.
2. Ask the people whom you know about what kind of qualities they really like about you. What do these qualities say about you? How have these qualities helped you in some way?
3. Always ask others to proofread your drafts. Write a few stories and give your drafts to the people you know. Ask them to also check your spelling, grammar, and style.
Sometimes, you have to take a break from writing in order to get your best ideas. If you are thinking of too many ideas at once, you can start to forget how unique the idea is supposed to be. You might start to get desperate so you’ll settle on any story that sounds good. Give yourself enough time before the application essay is due, so that you can take a two day hiatus after every time you think about the essay.
The best essay is not necessarily about the best story. In fact, when it’s a story that is really meaningful for you, and it has taught you something that can add value to the college you are applying to, then the college admissions panel will enjoy your essay as much as you do.