As we approach the college admissions season, many high school seniors face the daunting task of writing application essays. As you begin your applications, you will find a host of generic and open-ended essay questions and probably think to yourself, "How the heck am I supposed to answer this?" Don't panic! We've all been there. As scary as these questions seem, you will be able to make sure you write application essays that stand out with these simple tips.
1. Don't write about something just because you think it is what an admissions officer wants to hear.
As annoying as open-ended questions are, college admissions officers ask them intentionally! They want to give you the space to be creative and tell them about who you truly are. There are no right answers to these questions, so write about whatever feels natural! Be authentic.
2. Write in your own voice.
As tempting as it is to try to use fancy words to make yourself seem smart, be sure to write in plain English. Admissions officers read hundreds of essays a day; they don't want to look up every word you use in the dictionary. Using your own voice will make it easier for them to read and give them a better glimpse into your personality.
3. Show! Don't tell.
By "showing," or illustrating your story to your reader instead of telling them literally, you make your writing engaging and interesting. Use rich, descriptive language to make your essays so unforgettable that an admissions officer has no choice but to accept you.