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The college essay is not a test to see if you can read minds or anticipate what the admission office wants to hear.
Most admission committees are looking for capable and competitive students academically—once academic ability is vetted, an essay plays an important role in helping committees build their class with interesting classmates and roommates.
Committees aren't looking for the perfect essay, topic, or set of activities and achievements—we simply want an interesting, authentic, and well-written glimpse into a student's life.
It is a test to see if you can get out of your head and open your heart.
It is an exercise in exploring self—what makes you who you are, not who everyone thinks you should be.
” This is the perfectionist’s calling card in seeking validation that the essay is good enough.
Students often ask if they should work on another draft or if their essay is sufficiently polished.Perfection—in college admission and in life—is often overvalued. What will distinguish your writing and your application is your unique voice.Be willing to take risks, be vulnerable and share your truth.The best way to tell is to have your parents or a friend give a draft of your essay to a colleague or individual who has never met you. Ask them to read the essay and then respond with three adjectives that describe you and a sentence that captures what they learned. If not, it is back to the drawing board.“Am I done?Not one to cede to this obsession with purism, my response is always, “you are never done.” It’s the truth, however, as we continue every day to write our story and find our voice.In closing, Todd Rinehart, vice chancellor for enrollment at The University of Denver provides perspective, summarizing the intent of the college essay: Students should know that while essays are important, they are rarely the reason a student gets admitted or denied.What results is often a generic statement that lacks energy or personality.Write the story that you want to express and then choose the prompt with which it best aligns.The following are tips for these applicants in developing an authentic, impactful college essay: Don’t read the essay questions, read yourself.Most conformists will stifle their unique voice by attempting to respond to the specific prompts that the Common Application provides.