Time is ticking away! The college application deadline is drawing near, and your high school senior is on the verge of something incredible. Don’t stress, though—it’s not a race against the clock, but an opportunity to craft an extraordinary college essay that can change the game!
Here are some invaluable tips that will give your senior’s essay the edge:
Go Beyond the Prompt
While it’s essential to address the question, the real purpose of the essay is for admissions officers to know the individual behind the application. Encourage your teen to think deeply about how they can relate the prompt to their experiences, passions, or aspirations.
Tell a Personal Story
Narratives resonate with readers. Instead of making generic statements about wanting to make a difference or loving a particular subject, your teen should delve into specific moments or experiences that led to those feelings. Stories are memorable and provide a glimpse into the writer’s personality and character.
It’s tempting to write what one thinks the admissions officer wants to hear. However, authenticity shines brighter than any crafted persona. Genuine stories, emotions, and aspirations are more relatable and impactful. Advise your teen against exaggerating achievements or experiences.
Show, Don’t Tell
Instead of stating, “I’m compassionate,” they could describe an instance where they volunteered at a local shelter or helped a struggling peer. Demonstrating traits through actions and experiences makes for a more vivid and convincing essay.
Avoid Common Topics (Unless There’s a Unique Spin)
Many students write about their sports achievements, mission trips, or academic accolades. Exploring less-traveled themes is wise unless your teen has a distinct perspective or experience related to these topics.
Engage the Reader from the Start
A compelling opening line or paragraph can hook the reader and ensure engagement. Encourage your teen to experiment with interesting anecdotes, rhetorical questions, or thought-provoking statements to captivate the reader immediately.
Mind the Word Count
While it’s crucial to be detailed, it’s equally important to be concise. Admissions officers read countless essays, so your teen’s ability to convey their message succinctly is valuable. Trim unnecessary words and focus on the essence of the message.
Proofread and Proofread Again
Grammatical errors or typos can distract from an otherwise stellar essay. After your teen has revised their essay multiple times, they should read it aloud, ask others to review it, and even consider using online grammar tools.
Inject Some Personality
The college essay is one of the few places in the application where your teen’s voice can shine. Whether it’s through humor, insight, or introspection, a touch of personality can make the essay stand out.
Nurturing your teen’s individuality while guiding them through the college essay journey is a delicate balance. Remember, it’s their unique voice and experiences that should shine through every word. Crafting a college essay that resonates with authenticity and passion is the ultimate goal.
Your high school senior possesses the potential to create an essay that speaks to their heart and soul with a bit of dedicated time and strategic guidance. This is their opportunity to impress admissions officers and proudly showcase their true selves on paper.
If you’re seeking additional support in shaping your teen’s academic journey, don’t hesitate to connect with me. I’m here to lend a helping hand. Schedule a College Assessment Plan call with me today, and let’s unlock your teen’s full potential together.