For many high school and college seniors, Fall is the time when college and graduate school applications come to dominate their lives. The "college application essay" has taken on a life of its own, and many students dread the thought of condensing their hopes, dreams and aspirations to 1,000 or 2,000 words.
Fear not. The essay portion of your application does not have to be the bane of your short life. In fact, with ample planning, preparation and practice, your essay can become the shining centerpiece of your application. After all, this is where the admissions reviewers can get to know you beyond your grades and test scores. Everyone has a unique story to tell. Yours is just as valuable as the next person, and you should welcome the opportunity to tell them as much about your life, interests and experiences as possible.
Before you write a single word, it is important that you have a good idea of the portrait you want to paint with your essay. Will it be a close-up of an activity that is important to you? Will it be a broad landscape of your life so far? Will it focus on you as the centerpiece, or will it focus on your role as part of a greater scene with other people? It is up to you to paint the picture of your life experiences so that the strangers in stranger will appreciate it.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to convey in your essay, writing it down will become much easier. As you approach this important task, just remember not to be overwhelmed. And if you find yourself lost, we are here to help you find your way.