Summer is a great time to ponder deep thoughts, and right now rising seniors should be pondering their college essays.
The essay is a student’s best opportunity to set themselves apart in the college application. Their grades through junior year are set and while they may be able to improve their test scores in the fall, it’s the essay where they can truly put the spotlight on their personality.
Remember there are more than 25,000 other student government presidents, nearly 25,000 other school newspaper editors and thousands more members of the National Honor Society. The essay can be the ticket out of “Sameville.” No question, summer is the best time to start thinking about and drafting essays.
Once you have written up some thoughts, then look at the essay prompts. Here are the Common Application’s essay prompts:
Now see if anything you’ve written has a natural connection with one of the topics. Think beyond the literal interpretations for each prompt, i.e., something so central to your identity doesn’t have to be your race, family background or your socioeconomic level, it can be a value or a characteristic that truly defines who you are.
Write some more and then take a break. Reread what you’ve written with fresh eyes and see if you still think it truly reflects who you are. Don’t be discouraged if you need to start over. Crafting a solid essay is worth the investment.