That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.
Don’t pick a prompt just because you think answering it will make you sound “impressive.” This quote by former Stanford University Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet focuses on course selection, but it applies perfectly to essays as well: it that matters.
Whatever application process you’re going through, you’ll likely have a choice of several questions.
Don’t get overwhelmed trying to pick the right one.
You have to remember that the person reading your essay knows nothing about you, save for a few basic statistics.
Furthermore, they likely know nothing about the subject of your essay.Even if they do, they certainly don’t have the same knowledge and perspective that you have.To close this gap, you need to be as specific as possible. Let’s say you’ve decided to write about your time in high school marching band; specifically, you’re recounting the first time your performed with the band in front of a crowd (I use this example because it’s something I’m personally familiar with).My suggestion is to just read through them and narrow down to one or two that really speak to you.From there, get out a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas for each. Put down anything you can think of that might work as an essay.Even if you’re only applying to a couple schools that you know you can get into, it will still serve you well to write a compelling admissions essay.Standing out from everyone else could put you in the running for additional scholarships and will also simply make a good impression, which never hurts.This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.If you’ve never done it before, free writing is just taking a topic and writing anything that comes into your head.Just take a blank document or sheet of paper, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and start writing.