College Essay – Be Original

When you write your college essay, be original and stand out -- in a good way!

When you write a college essay, BEAR in mind (yes, a Confession Bear joke – haha!) you’re going to be considered in comparison to all of the other applicants. This is true whether you’re writing essays for admission applications or scholarships.

You need to stand out in your college essay — in a good way!

Yours is not the only college essay that will be read by the same person, or perhaps the same committee. You’ll be walking a fine line of needing to stand out without being cheesy or overbearing. You need to sing your own praises without sounding cocky. Make the essay BEARable to read. (Yes, I went there again. I’ll try to stop.)

Take the excellent advice from Ed Weathers in What to Put in your 500-word Essay: Be YOU. You are original, so blending in with a hundred other applicants who Googled the same Eleanor Roosevelt quote is not a good strategy.

By the way, that quote story is a real-life example. I once read scholarship essays with “future” in the essay subject and a full 30% of the applicants opened with the same quote. By the time I had read the seventh one, I had lost my sense of humor about the situation.

College essay writing can be a BEAR, no doubt about it. (Annoying, eh? Consider it a lesson in how painful some of this offbeat stuff can be for essay readers.) However, a well-written essay, one which gives the reader a sense of the true you, in all of your original wonderfulness, is a joy to read.

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Author: Amy Widner

Amy is Vice President, Operations at Smart College Visit. She found her 20+ years of experience in corporate and higher education communication to be almost adequate preparation for her recent experience navigating the college search and admissions process with her oldest child. She finds joy in helping ease the process for all.

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