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However, most people don’t have such novel experiences. Don’t think that your life is too “boring” to provide material for a great essay. As I mentioned before, it’s best to start with brainstorming.With the right approach, you can still write an essay that wows. Once you’ve followed the process I described and have a list of, say, 10-15 topics, I recommend doing a bit of free writing for each.You have to remember that the person reading your essay knows nothing about you, save for a few basic statistics.
The more ideas, the better, as you often find your best ideas only after getting the obvious ones out of the way.
Speaking of obvious ideas, the biggest piece of advice I can give about writing college essays is this: avoid the obvious.
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.
For the most part, it’s unlikely that you’ve experienced anything extremely uncommon in the relatively short amount of time you’ve been a human.
Most high school students lead lives that don’t deviate too far from the norm – except that one quiet guy in your class who sits next to the window near the back.
The point of this exercise is twofold: These are all jumping off points for the essay.
They’ll get you started, but simply writing about these things alone isn’t enough.
When you’re juggling transcripts, forms, dates, and everything else, it’s easy to brush off the college application essay as “just another part of the application.”However, while it’s true that the essay isn’t the only thing that matters to college admissions officers, a great essay can actually compensate for less than stellar grades. Most of the other parts of the application are just lists and statistics: GPA, courses taken, a list of extracurriculars, maybe some work or volunteer experience.
This stuff matters…but it doesn’t make you special.