Oh, those essays. Those college application essays. They make everyone so fearful, so hesitant. What do you write about? What do you say? What should you write about? What do schools want to hear?
Today, I’m going to give you my reasons for why you should stop worrying, and why should embrace the fear–and use it to write memorable essays that will make you stand out from the pack and get noticed.
Whether we like to admit it or not, a huge component of applying to college is fear. What if you don’t get in? What if the reason you don’t get in is because of what you wrote in your essays? What if you don’t pick the right topic? What if…what if…what if. So many what ifs, so few answers–and so many, many things that could go wrong.
When it comes to application essays, though, my answer is always the same: Write about something that inspires you, something you’re passionate about, something that invokes feelings within you. Because if you write about something inspiring, passionate, and emotional, you’ll put your heart and soul into what you’re writing. And if you do that, then you’ll write a memorable essay.
You need to remember that colleges want to hear what you have to say. They want to hear about you. They want to know your story, your likes and dislikes, your desires, your idiosyncracies. They want to know all of these things, because what they’re looking to do is get a picture of you as a whole person, and not just a GPA, or an SAT score, or an ACT score, or a résumé. They’re admitting people, not numbers.
Be empowered by the fact that, if you say exactly what you want to say, then you’ll be admitted to schools based on your own merits and your own words, and not the merits and words you think you should have or you think schools want you to have.
Think of it this way: If a school rejects you because of what you said, aren’t you better off not going there in the first place?
So, dear applicants: Discard the fear. Remember that it’s better to be rejected on your own merits than accepted on fabricated ones. When you put yourself out there, you know that–no matter what comes your way–the results are exactly as they should be, because they are based on your overall truth as a person.
Don’t self-censor for fear that you’ll be rejected. Instead, embrace your personality, your history, your self, and put it on paper for the world to see. Not only will it be liberating, but you will shine through the essay–and, at the end of the day, that’s exactly what schools want to see.