All about college essays: How can I make my college admissions essay stick out?

Post By: COYD Staff

college application essayThe anxieties associated with writing the college admissions essay plague soon to be college seniors around the world. Most of you know that college essays have a lot of influence in a college application. So far we have discussed tips on the technique of writing a great essay but everybody knows mastering the technique is not enough.

When you read a great admissions essay, the most interesting ones are those that are written with a unique voice. Most students feel hopeless because they think that they can’t possibly write in a unique voice. But let me let you in on a little secret, you can. You are inherently unique. You have unique DNA, unique experiences, and a unique family…nobody on Earth has the EXACT same life and body as yours, so you are inherently UNIQUE. Since you are unique, you can have a unique voice too. The key to finding your unique voice is to know and understand both your internal and external world. What do I mean by this? First, let’s define the internal and external world.

Your internal world is what is going on inside of you. It includes what’s in your mind, soul, and heart thus, including your emotions, ideas, and impressions. People who are in touch with their internal world are the most self aware. They know what makes them tick. They know what they struggle with. They know what they most fear. They know what makes them angry and frustrated. They have a clear definition of love, happiness and success in their life.

Your external world is what is going on around you. People, activities, things, events…etc. Your external world is unique because nobody will have the exact external world as you. The people you meet, the activities you participate in, the things you read, the events you attend are all unique to you.

When you are tapped into both worlds, your voice is basically the interaction between your internal world and your external world. So when the essay asks a specific question, your response is unique. Those who are truly aware of their internal and external world, have clear opinions and experiences to validate them. Essays that are written with conviction, clarity, and insight are ones that have a unique voice.

Below are some tips on how to experience more of your external world:

1) Read everything you can get your hands on.

Read newspaper columns, the wealth of information on the Internet, nonfiction and fiction books, and magazines.

2) Know what’s going on around the country and the world.

3) Experience the people around you by asking questions.

Try to meet people that are different from you, in age, opinion, race, generation, culture, gender, socio-economic status…etc.

4) Read about  history.

We can learn a lot from history. Start with the last 50 years and compare the present world to the world 50 years ago.

5) Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.

As you start to develop your internal and external world, you will have so much to say and write about. Don’t be afraid of writing the college admissions essay, it’s your chance to show the admissions officers who you really are!


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