When I took a full-time position writing for a non-profit, I knew I still wanted to freelance on the side. While my “side hustles” have ranged from contributing to local publications to crafting speeches, my favorite freelance jobs have been tutoring and coaching young writers. With college admission season coming up, I thought it the perfect time to give you guys a couple of free tips to get into your top pick.
So let’s start with the why- colleges don’t ask you to write an admissions essay just to ruin your summer. They require a written component because the admissions process has become so incredibly competitive. That means you don’t get a medal just for trying. You want your essay is responsible for distinctively setting you apart from the endless sea of applicants. Here are three things you need to know before you submit your college essay this summer:
1. Limit the use of me, my, and I
When someone asks you a subjective question (like most colleges do for the admission essay), it’s a natural response to speak in the first person, using terms such as “I think” and “I feel”. The chief mistake that most of the students I work with make is writing from too narrow a voice. Using this mode of writing makes the content feel overly simplified and rudimentary.
Topic: Why do you want to attend this college?
Ever since I was a child I have wanted to attend Prestigious University. When I toured the campus, I knew that this was the experience I wanted to have. I want to study English and I feel that I will be a great addition to the English Department.
Attending college is about more than merely securing a job upon graduation. For it is our experiences that shape us into a people of culture, intellect, and kindness. The culture and experience of Prestigious University aligns perfectly with the vision I have for my future as an individual. Studying English, right here on this campus, would allow me to contribute to the academic community of the university and become the person I hope to become.
2. Tell a story
I can’t even imagine the sheer number of entries the admissions staff read through daily. The question is- how are you going to make YOUR essay the one they actually WANT to keep reading?
You have to tell a story- something personal and engaging. I know it may seem like a good idea to just stick to flattery, how much you want to attend the school, and a list of your personal accomplishments, but just think of how many essays they get just like that. From someone who copyedits professionally, it’s mind-numbing to read cliches and impersonal writing for hours on end.
So when they ask why you want to attend their school, or what is your most important accomplishment, tell a personal story of significance to you and tie it all back to your academic goals in the end.
3.Polish it up
This may go without saying, but I can’t stress the importance of editing enough. This means combing through your essay sentence by sentence until the grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation are all perfect. If it all possible, have a trusted English guru edit your work, but if you have to self-edit, check out my guide to self-editing here.
I hope you all enjoyed this quick read! If you want to hear more about writing for college, editing, or a particular subject, comment below or email me and I would be happy to write more.
If you are interested in writing tutoring or coaching, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading lovelies! Sweet Dreams and Happy Travels!