Since August 1, I have been seeing a rush of students in my office. They turn their blue or brown eyes towards me and say, ”I don’t know what to write about on my college application essay.”
I reply, “No problem.”
I can explain college application essays in twelve words. College application essays are about this: What do you care about, and what have you done about it?
Brainstorm lists to start your thoughts
- How are you different from your friends?
- What could you talk about for an hour?”
- Why do your teachers and other adults value your presence?
- What books, magazines and websites do you like to read?
- What clubs, groups and activities are you in?
Those lists start you thinking about some general college application essay topics. Then, narrow in on a situation to write about.
I ask, “Can you brainstorm a list of situations that you feel good about that happened in the last two years?” I invite parents to join in! Then we talk about which situation might be a good one to write about.
A college application essay is a story about a situation that you feel good about. Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Something happens. You do something. You say something. You think about something. You feel something. Maybe there is a conflict and it is resolved, or a challenge met. Maybe there is a moment that you always remember.
Which incident should you write about? Read on…
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