As I walked off the field after that first performance, I felt prouder than I ever had. But it could be way more specific. The first time I marched in front of a crowd, I was so nervous that I could barely hold up my saxophone. As we stood there on the football field ready to begin, I looked up into the stands and noticed for the first time how huge the crowd was. So many eyes on me. What if I screwed up? Before I had time to think, though, I saw the drum major take the stand and give the signal.
I brought my instrument to my lips and did everything just as we had rehearsed. The next five minutes were a blur. After the last note had faded, we turned in formation and marched off the field. Leaving the field that day was the first time I realized the power of devoting everything I had to a goal and following through. See the difference?
Writing the Successful College Application Essay | LiveCareer
Note all the details. A good rule of thumb is this: write what you think is enough detail…and then write twice as much. The right amount is probably somewhere between the two. Many admissions essays focus too much on what happened and not enough on how it made you feel and what you learned from it. To do this, you need to get away from simply summarizing events. When writing about an experience like this, it can be really easy to get wrapped up in all the cool things that happened.
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You need to talk about what you learned, about how this experience changed you, and how it helped form who you are today. Once again, the key is to be specific. Want some examples? On a more technical note, the individual words you use can make or break your essay.
These are just filler words that we lean on for convenience. To craft an outstanding essay you have to get past these overused descriptions. To round this article off, here are a few additional pieces of advice for writing a successful admissions essay:. I hope that after reading this post you feel a bit more confident in your ability to write your college admissions essay. It may feel scary and impossible, but with right approach and enough time , you can write an essay that showcases your unique personality and impresses admissions officers.
What questions do you have about writing college admissions essays? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or post about it in the College Info Geek Community. Want to listen to an audio narration of this article? If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The Essay Could Turn a "Maybe" Into a Defininte "Yes"
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.
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What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
1. Get to know your prompt
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. What NOT to Write About Speaking of obvious ideas, the biggest piece of advice I can give about writing college essays is this: avoid the obvious. Anything that comes across as narcissistic. Most of all, anything trite. But what in the world should you talk about? The point of this exercise is twofold: It helps you get all the obvious stuff out of your head first. But we want to get that stuff out of the way as quickly as possible so we can move on to the not so obvious.
When free writing about a topic, you may stumble onto an idea even better than your original. Notable accomplishments for instance, creating your own personal website or blog. Notable experiences traveling to the North Pole, doing a homestay in another country, meeting the President. Notable abilities fluency in multiple languages, wilderness survival skills, Iron Chef-level cooking abilities. Big Mistake 2: Events vs.
I made it to the final hold, exhausting every drop of energy, unable to fathom lifting my arm again. The wall then became a towering mental blockade. I screamed and shot my hand up in a final attempt to finish the climb.
I was only hanging on by my fingertips and sheer determination, nevertheless I had made it to the top. My belayer celebrated and lowered me down. Weak and exhausted, I could barely unclip myself from the harness; however, mentally I had never felt stronger.
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It is during these experiences that the world falls away; all that is left is the rock face itself. I become one with the wall, solely captivated by the placements of its holds and the complexity of its challenge. Time ceases to exist. Rock climbing is a second language to me. I grew up scaling the tallest trees I could find, desiring the highest vantage point. Growing up in the uniformly flat state of Florida, I was limited in my upward journey. Luckily, I rekindled my love for climbing in high school, and now cannot imagine life without it.
My passion for climbing is fueled by the adrenaline that pumps through my veins. At first, I was an impatient climber who would try and solve the wall before me, making split-second decisions. However, this strategy rapidly tired me out after beginning to climb. Now, when I approach a wall, I first draw the problem out in my mind, using my hands to examine the holds.
Like a game of chess, I lay out an intricate plan of attack. If I am completely perplexed by a wall, I converse with other pro climbers to guide me towards the best route.
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Every time I interact with climbers better than myself, I learn a new technique and create new bonds. Being part of the rock climbing community has helped me develop my social skills. The best things about climbing is that there is no clear-cut way to climb a wall, and that there is always a new challenge. I get lost in the walls and climb for hours, as time becomes irrelevant. I think of nothing else but reaching the last hold and forget all of my worries.
Even when my friends beg to go home from fatigue, I insist on attempting another route.
Patience, collaboration, and determination are all needed when climbing a wall, like in any field of research. If one plan falls short, I reassess and approach the wall from another angle. Through this life-changing sport I have strengthened not only my body but also my mind, learning the beauty of problem solving. Through her writing, Callie allows the admissions committee to better understand her approach to learning new perspectives. This essay highlights her personality and values and helps us imagine how she will collaborate with others throughout different spaces on campus in a diverse student body.
By broadening her initial anecdote and having the majority of the essay focus on her reflections and takeaways, we were able to spend even more time learning about Callie.
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