Writing that College Essay – Getting started

Here’s the thing. Let’s say, you’ve decided to make an international undergraduate application to study Psychology and so has your classmate. Both of you have been competing for the highest grade in class and sometimes you are number one and sometimes he beats you. You are not only part of the soccer team at school and the theatre club, you are even the same quiz team.  The teachers seem to like the way you can manage to balance your academics with your extra-curricular activities. Seems like you both will end up with similar applications? – Or not.

This is where you need to identify the few things about you that make you – YOU.

What have been your contributions to the psychology club? Do you believe in the theories of a certain psychologist? Has an engaging dialogue or interaction with an adult at home or at school, been the key reason you chose to apply to this course? How have you contributed? 

While the essential heads namely academic qualifications and recommendation letters are already part of any college application, that one important unique insert in the docket is your Statement of purpose or the college essay. THIS IS ABOUT YOU. 

Ask yourself:
What inspires me?
Why does applying for this subject make sense?
Do I have what it takes / am I willing to exert myself?
How does this college / university complement my aspirations?

Search for answers to:
Your strengths
Your aspirations {not only your parents’ goals}
Your determination
Your achievements
Your interests
Your passion

Just penning down answers to the above questions will give you enough to juggle with in your essay. Even if you use little of what you pen down, this exercise will help you delve deeper and write passionately. Admission officers at some of the best universities applaud essays that are original and creatively conceived. 

At the same time, remember, if the subject changes, the essay must change too. Also, unlike in case of common applications, applications to individual universities must be written to differently. This is not about one size fit all.

So if I were to give you One tip to write the best college essay, I’d say; don’t just connect the subject to the skills you possess or the achievements you have, aim to connect with the life you’ve lived.

Now start writing…

Published by Charushilla

Charushilla is an evolving educator who founded her unique mentoring initiative, University Connection from her living room! Over the years, having mentored thousands of students, she's grown into an authority in edupreneurship, college planning, communication consulting, scholarships and into a high performance coach for young minds! She believes that career decisions are life decisions and works with students, parents, young professionals to aim for more.

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