Instructions On How To Write A College Essay About Yourself
Crafting your personal college essay is endlessly tricky. How precisely do you come across as totally individual but also totally capable of fitting into the college you’re applying for. There’s a thin line between sounding educated but not arrogant, well-spoken but not pretentious, curious but not ignorant. We’ve put together a list that will smooth out the rough edges on your essay and give you a head start on your application.
- 1. The Opening
- 2. The Course
- 3. The University
The opening is really where you make your impact- think of it as your mission statement, if you like. What you say here is probably the most important part of your essay, as it will either set you up as an interested, interesting person or another generic bunch of information. There is honestly a fine art to creating the perfect opening, as you want to make sure you stand out and avoid churning out non-specific openings (such as “I have been dreaming of studying (subject) for as long as I can remember” or “I know that I want to pursue a career in…”), without diving into anything too outrageous or-worse-irrelevant to the course you’re applying for. Aim for something original and specific to you, but also something that relates to not just the area of study, but this course in particular.
And this brings me to the course, of course. Make sure you do plenty of research on the course you’re applying for so you can hone your statement to match that criteria. For example, if you’re applying for a history course, look into what periods of history they cover specifically and show your interest in those. Prove that you’ve done your research for instant brownie points, and at the same time look into other things the university values- such as strong group work skills, independent work ethic, willingness to get involved with opportunities outside the classroom, and so on.
Think about the questions you’d want to see answered if you were reading a thousand college essays. Not just the obvious ones like “have they got the grades for this course?” or “have they proved they can work hard?”, but also things like “how will they adapt to the university learning environment?” and “is this definitely the course they should be applying for?”. Show off not just what a good student you would be for this course, but how well you’d fit in to the university you’re applying for overall.