We’re sure that there are some students who love and look forward to writing the college essay, and a massive “HOORAY!” to all of you. That said, we imagine that for many of you, it’s a process that involves at least a little agony and procrastination. It’s hard. It’s hard to write a brief, concise essay that says a bit about who you are and what is important to you. We can’t make it easier to sit down and do the work, but we can tell you this:
- Be genuine. Work hard on refining the ideas and structure of your essay, but don’t work too hard to impress us. If you’re trying too hard, we can tell.
- Be simple. Not everyone has climbed Mount Everest or saved people from a burning building, and that’s OK. Thoughtful reflections on part-time jobs and on childhood memories have been the bases for some of the best essays we’ve read. It’s hard to go wrong with simple and sincere.
- Be clear. Ask someone else to read your essay when you’re done. Does that person understand what you’re trying to say?
- Be brief. College admission officers read MANY essays, and keeping it to the required word length is much appreciated.
- Be careful. Proofread your essay. Have others proofread your essay. Then check it again.