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Write the story that you want to express and then choose the prompt with which it best aligns.
Instead, put the reader in the moment by painting a picture and then elaborate on why it is important.
The college essay is not a test to see if you can read minds or anticipate what the admission office wants to hear.
The Common Application essay prompts are neatly copied onto the blank document, taunting him with possibility.
His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone.
And there are many within the college admissions community who say it’s also true in college essays. But Ernst & Young is not going to give you a good evaluation on your case interview if you show up in red flip-flops. On a first date, it might be “you” to chew your food with your mouth open. There are too many kids out there who are doing the same things. If it’s you to be boring, to write about the same thing that just about every other applicant to highly selective colleges is writing about in their college essays, then you should absolutely not be you.
On a job interview, it might be very “you” to show up in red flip-flops.
Plain and simple, they want to know about you, how well you write and how self-aware you are. Regardless of the topic about which you choose to write, be sure the essay reveals more about you than the other characters or places in the story.
Erik De Angelis, associate director of admission at Brown University advises, "don't fall into the trap of telling us why you're a great fit for our school by telling us all about our school. Tell us how you'd take advantage of the resources and experiences available at our school.
It is an exercise in exploring self—what makes you who you are, not who everyone thinks you should be.
Who are you outside the constraints that are placed upon you by school, parents, friends, and society?