Writing a flawless application may seem like an impossible task, but in truth anyone can do it with the right guidance. If you think about it, a college application essay is similar to news we see on the internet. When we scroll through the Wall Street Journal or CNN news feed, we only share and repost unique stories that pique our interest. Likewise, a college admissions officers will connect most with applications that are simple, surprising, and significant: the same three factors that make a story go viral on the internet.
Step 1. Keep it simple
College admissions officers read tens of thousands of applications every year. This means that your application may not be seen for more than a few minutes, so your application must be simple to get your point across. Be sure to clearly and succinctly show the type of person you are so that they understand who you are and can envision you as a future student on their campus.
Step 2. Be surprising
Many, if not all students, expand on their extra-curricular activities in their college application essays. You will need to cut through the noise and make yourself stand out. Expand on what makes you different. For instance, if you love volunteering at your neighborhood food pantry, you will need to show what makes you stand out from the other 2,000 students who are also writing about their experience in their respective food pantries. In this example, one way you could do this is by going one step further and explaining how this experience affected your career aspirations. By surprising them, you will show them how you will be a unique contributor to their university.
Step 3. Find significance
In order to prove how passionate you are about the things in your life, you need to demonstrate how your activities, achievements, and extracurriculars will help you achieve your future goals. In your application, you need to tie in the reason for why you chose to get involved in your extracurriculars. Your application should communicate your significance in the world and your greater purpose. It should be saying something important about your story.
It is crucial to use these three steps when writing your college application essays. Keeping it simple helps you resonate with the reader. Being surprising helps your story be memorable. Lastly, showing significance embodies your application with a deeper purpose in life.
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