How To Start Off A College Application Essay

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Here’s what a first attempt at describing this might look like: The first time I marched in front of a crowd, I was so nervous.

We got into formation, took the field, and began to play.

For the most part, it’s unlikely that you’ve experienced anything extremely uncommon in the relatively short amount of time you’ve been a human.

Most high school students lead lives that don’t deviate too far from the norm – except that one quiet guy in your class who sits next to the window near the back.

This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.

It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.The more ideas, the better, as you often find your best ideas only after getting the obvious ones out of the way.Speaking of obvious ideas, the biggest piece of advice I can give about writing college essays is this: avoid the obvious.You have to remember that the person reading your essay knows nothing about you, save for a few basic statistics.Furthermore, they likely know nothing about the subject of your essay.Here are a few things to avoid writing about: Really, the success of your essay will come down not to what you write about, but how.In general, it’s much easier to stand out on the basis of how you approach your topic than what you say.That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.Don’t pick a prompt just because you think answering it will make you sound “impressive.” This quote by former Stanford University Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet focuses on course selection, but it applies perfectly to essays as well: it that matters.Even if you’re only applying to a couple schools that you know you can get into, it will still serve you well to write a compelling admissions essay.Standing out from everyone else could put you in the running for additional scholarships and will also simply make a good impression, which never hurts.

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