Two of the biggest mistakes a college applicant can make are reading other students’ essays for inspiration, and trying to model one’s essay off of another student’s essay.
The essay process is extremely personal, and successful essays take many shapes and forms. If there were a formula for successful essay writing, everyone would be following it! And then the formula would change because it would become ubiquitous.
Plus, you need to give yourself the opportunity to create an essay that’s so genuine to you that none of the other millions of college applicants could write it.
On that note, here are 5 ways you’ll know if the essay topic you picked will possibly work:
Will anyone else be able to write about this topic the way I do? Essays are not first dates; you don’t need to avoid cliche topics. You do, however, need to put your own spin on it.Do I share something the Admissions Officers wouldn’t otherwise know about me?Will the Admissions Officers want to meet me or know more about me?Will the Admissions Officers envision me being a good fit at their school?Am I conveying an overall positive message?
I’ve found that more often than not, students who read other students’ essays end up scaring themselves and then tackling the essays in a completely ineffective way. Don’t be one of those applicants.