Whether or not it was intentional, this student started his essay in a way that certainly caught the attention of the admissions committee, and that’s what your first sentences absolutely need to do.
While it is important to talk yourself up as the awesome student you truly are, you still have to remember that the application essay is not a résumé.
Think about it: Most of the items you submit to the colleges or universities you’re applying to showcase talents that you have developed over a long period of time. At the same time, you shouldn’t downplay the importance of the essay either. This is your chance to paint a picture of who you are. Professionals on admissions committees have the daunting task of reading thousands of application essays per year, and it can get a bit tedious after a while.
Your high school transcript contains at least three years of grades, showing evidence of hard work in a variety of subjects. Keep in mind essays are a major separating factor in sorting the mediocre students from those who have gone (and most likely will continue to go) above and beyond. I can’t even tell you how many wonderful application essays I’ve read about students’ mothers, fathers, brothers, grandmothers, neighbors, and even the ice cream truck driver being the most influential person in their lives. After reading them, I want to call the students up and encourage their grandmothers to apply! Don’t get me wrong, I love the essay prompts for many colleges, but some essay questions don’t exactly push for creativity or thinking outside of the box.
” rarely results in a boring application essay and can go in numerous directions. Go out on a limb and take a stab at the question that helps you paint a unique and compelling self-portrait. “In 10th grade, I became a hooker.” Yes, this is the actual first line of an application essay we received a few years ago and something I never imagined I would see while reading an admissions essay. Immediately I was stunned trying to think of the events that must have lead up to this moment and how this student was going to swing this into a positive light. What I didn’t know at the time was that a “hooker” was actually the name of a position on a rugby team.
In fact, many schools have cool, offbeat essay questions that really provide you with the opportunity to present the admissions committee with new insight as to who you are. And if your dream school presents you with some of the old standards, remember to approach the subject from the most unique angle you can. The student went on about how he developed the strength and technique needed to be successful in the position and how that experience shaped him into the man he had become.On copious occurrences, pupils will endeavor to parade their current acquaintance with the English vernacular in an attempt to affect an air of knowledge. Remember, the admissions committee wants to focus on you, and sometimes it is hard to do so when all they are thinking is, “What is this person talking about?!Let’s face it, that sounded a little silly, and this is exactly what we go through each time students attempt to replace every other word in their essays with longer words and more complex terms from a thesaurus. When a student attempts to stuff the essay with large words — words we both know are not a part of his or her everyday vocabulary — it often actually detracts from the piece. ” In my experience, students love to write about how they have learned from their mistakes.by Brent Benner Director of Enrollment Management University of Tampa People often ask me about the value of the application essay. ” I assure you, at my university and in admissions offices across the country, we do.I can tell a lot about a person from his or her application essay; it’s the most current snapshot of who you are as a person. I’m going to be completely honest with you: Your application essay cannot overshadow years of poor grades and test scores, and in this case, your essay may never find itself in front of the admissions committee. That’s exactly who your essay should be about: you. Now, keep in mind that creativity and a bit of humor are nice.Since you already know how it’s supposed to read, and you’re accustomed to reading it, it’s often easier for another person to catch your mistakes.You should also try reading the essay aloud to yourself.They will go on and on about the time they did this illegal thing and broke the law, but it’s OK, because they learned from their mistake.The application process is competitive, and there are plenty of good applicants out there who have never broken the law.Don’t rely on spell check alone to catch all of your mistakes, either.We had one applicant that said, “I speak tree languages.” (Really? ) As you can see, sometimes things are spelled correctly but just don’t make sense in the context of your application essay.