How to Tackle the Popular College Application Essay Topics?
You're genuinely surprised to find out that your college application essay isn't difficult as you expect. Read the instructions again. Ask the admissions tutor. Imagine yourself rewinding your past experiences.
An admissions tutor wants to know the applicants behind the high grades, and what sets you apart from a talented pool of applicants. It seems daunting to you, but you can make it. You must know yourself, as this awareness enables you to write your essay with such authority. Your tutor might overlook a few slips, such as the frequent use of a particular word (or phrase). The objective of the application essay is to see how you can handle the coursework. The outcome will be decided on paper writing, so you must make a good impression on the first one. Not your first (essay) assignment, though.
Don't try too hard to recall your first camping experience. Don't wonder how could you have done better on your first summer job. (Let's assume that you're way ahead of your teenage years.) Forget about the missing ingredient in the turkey gravy, which might have spoiled what could be the perfect Thanksgiving dinner last year. It's important to approach the essay topics with the right mindset.
What An Admissions Tutor Expects From You
You must be able to connect with your readers. You're about to pen your application essay, so your admissions tutor must be able to connect to your piece of work. Forget about achievements during your high school years, as you have likely listed it in your application. Moreover, you might rehash a childhood experience that your closest friends and dearest kin have heard. You can repeat it if you can put a perspective into it. You don't have to force yourself to be unique, sounding pretentious after you're done with the draft (of your essay). What do you value most? It can be the sound of the wind, which is the only thing you can hear in the forest. (Let's assume that you like camping a bit too much.) If you want to impress your tutor, then cite your favorite book. Make sure that you can relate to a character, if not a particular chapter. Relating to a past experience should be good enough.
You must be able to challenge an idea (or belief). If you're a huge fan of love songs (or Billy Joel's hits), then you know what it feels like. You don't have to be afraid of your tutor rejecting you, if not ridiculing you. If you're applying for a place in the English Department, then you should know that your tutor wants to see the extent of your knowledge in literary criticism. If you're aspiring to be a student of another department, then it's not so different from what the faculty (of the English Department) expect of its students. The university is an enlightened sanctuary, also the place where great minds meet. It will be better to show it off at this early stage.
You must be able to articulate your goals. Your tutor will look forward to the part where you explain your desire to study at your university of choice. Generalizing it won't help you stand out from the other applicants while a vague response could end your chances of admission. Go to the website, and read all the information that you see there. You don't have to compose a lengthy explanation, which might cover everything that you read in the site. Look for one particular piece of information. If it means something to you, then try to expound on it. There might not be a word count, but it doesn't mean that you must pen a few pages (or more). A few paragraphs could seal the deal for you, but choose your words carefully.
What Does Personal Growth Mean to You?
Your application essay can also be seen as an exercise in introspection, which seems a very tall order for teenagers. After all, older people are more prone to bouts of self-analysis. Furthermore, introspective teenagers find it a bit too painful to look into themselves. (Some might call it a form of self torturing, but others may see it as an exaggeration.) If you're willing to take a plunge, then you could surprise your tutor (and yourself).
Major (and minor) milestones would happen during your college years, which should change you for the better. Your high school achievements (and memories) may turn insignificant, but nothing could be too big (or small) for you. Your application essay must be the platform to express your ideas (or feelings), and how it makes you the student you are. And that's what your tutor expects from you.
All students make a significant contribution to their school, and more to the (college) departments of their choice. After all, the module changes every year or two (depending on how the students respond to it). You must realize that you're not reading lots of books because it's one of the requirements that you need to do (before you receive your degree). This is an experience that will enrich your life, which you will recall fondly. You must write down your past experiences, though. Recall your favorite author's writing style. Try to make it your own.
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