If you are looking to write an early college essay, you probably have no idea where to start. A lot of people struggle with writing their essays, but we’re here to help! When you use our 6 ways on how to write a great early college essay, you’ll learn everything you need to know about writing your essay and will be able to craft something that’s sure to impress the admissions board! So if you want to start writing your essay today, keep reading below!
1) Stop Worrying About How Others Will Judge You
It’s common for college applicants to spend too much time worrying about what others will think of their application essay. If you feel like your college essay is too personal, that’s okay. Colleges want students who can connect with them on a personal level, and if that means talking about hard things in your life, do it! Personal essays are often some of the most impactful parts of applications so don’t be afraid to share your story. Just make sure it’s all true; lying on an application is grounds for rejection at best and expulsion at worst.
2) Start With Your Strengths
If you’re applying early, your best bet is probably going to be an essay that shows off your unique personality and demonstrates how you were challenged in high school. This type of essay will let colleges know who you are and what makes you tick. Admissions officers want diversity in their incoming classes—and they’re more likely to find it if your application has a clear picture of who you are as a person. Plus, showing how college can challenge someone who is already challenging themselves and excelling in high school will give them confidence that they can do it too.
3) Include Some Weaknesses
Most schools encourage students to write essays that highlight their strengths and accomplishments. The problem is that admissions officers have read a lot of these essays, and they can often seem cookie-cutter and unoriginal. So try writing about some weaknesses or setbacks you’ve had—or other unique experiences—that haven’t come up in your other college applications. For example, you could talk about how your family’s finances were tight during your childhood so you had to work hard as an adult just to be able to afford tuition. Or maybe an illness or injury has been holding you back from reaching your full potential; discussing how you overcame it could show how strong-willed and determined you are.
4) Have Something Meaningful To Say
The first thing your admissions officer will notice when they look at your application is your essay. If you have something meaningful and insightful to say, they’ll get excited. If you’re just writing another run-of-the-mill admission essay, then you’ll lose interest immediately. So what makes an insightful college admission essay? The answer might not be as obvious as it seems. You can spend hours on crafting brilliant anecdotes or researching an interesting historical event but if that’s all there is, your reader won’t be impressed. Instead of adding pieces of interesting information together until they form an essay, focus on constructing a cohesive argument based on meaningful content that you can analyze in depth.
5) Establish The Importance Of This Topic
Before you can even start to write your essay, you need to establish exactly why it’s so important that you do so. Many students assume that their grade in school is all that matters, but if there are multiple people being considered for one position (which is likely) then how will yours stick out from everyone else’s? If your application was just another great resume then chances are it wouldn’t be chosen for an interview, let alone a job. The same goes for admissions; schools don’t care if you got high grades in school, they want your resume/application package to show them what makes you different and set you apart from everyone else.
6) Use Personal Stories/Exemplars/Examples
A great way to show your intelligence and creativity is through personal stories, examples, or examples. Whether you use vignettes, anecdotes, or case studies, make sure they are relevant and have educational value. Anecdotes can be especially useful for any paper where you want to focus on how some event affected your life. For example: I once was in charge of an elementary school science project competition; as such, I had one too many projects piling up in my office. In addition to that stress, however, I was struggling with my mother’s terminal illness so there were often several nights each week where I did not sleep at all. When I write my paper with personal stories like above, I usually get high grades.