For many of you, it’s college application season, and you might be feeling a little pressure….
Or at least, I felt a ton of it this time last year. Writing essays was really hard, because I wanted to talk about things that mattered to me, but at the same time I had a hard time separating myself from my emotions to make sure I still wrote a well-written essay. And the format of college essays are really different, which means we haven’t really had a lot of practice writing like that in English class. You’re not trying to convince anyone of Hemingway’s metaphors in The Old Man and the Sea, you’re trying to convince someone sitting at the desk of a college admissions office that you’re cool enough to go to their school. Sometimes I felt everything was very unfair in that respect, and I would feel like we were all being rather unfairly judged.
During my application process, I wrote a ton of application essays for a ton of different things. I applied to seven schools and wrote completely different supplements for all of them, and in addition to the common app, I had to go through all the essays for MIT’s application, which was separate and had different questions. In addition to all that, I wrote a lot of scholarship essays which were all mostly different from my college essays—and I applied for a lot of scholarships. The Gates-Millenium scholarship had ten essays alone.
What I’m trying to say is, I have spent way too much time in my life doing this, and I didn’t want all that I’d learned to go to waste. It’s a pity to think I spent all that time and effort and I’d only use it once myself. That’s why I applied for a job as an admissions essay editor, and why I critiqued the essays for a friend of a friend the other day. As part of my first critique of another person’s essays, I noticed a bunch of general tips that might be helpful to everyone, so I took those and compiled them into a nice, neat format to share with you all :)
I hope this helps! All the tips for college essay writing I’ve realized so far are below~