“How do I write an essay that would help me gain admission into this particular university?”
Numerous people have asked me the same question over the past year or so, and I know hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants out there are wondering the same thing.
My answer is simple: Just be you.
To put it differently, there is no one best way or approach to write an essay.
You may have read an article or two on the Internet about how an applicant wrote about her goldfish and gained admission into one of the top universities in the US.
You may also have heard about your friend’s brother’s classmate that wrote about his loving parents and got into an Ivy League.
Or what about your neighbor’s kid who graduated from Harvard? Didn’t he write about his first job for his application essay years ago?
But what if you have never owned a goldfish, or any other pet? What if your parents are divorced? What if you have never gotten a job in your whole life? Would you have to make something up to get the same results as they did?
(note: none of the examples stated above are real)
When you go on Google and start searching for good application essays, you’ll be thinking, “Maybe I should write something like this. If this person got in with this kind of essay, maybe it’ll work for me as well.”
Well, that’s just it. You’re not being you. You’re trying so hard to be like other people that you’re not giving yourself the chance to be the best you can.
Yes, these people were in your shoes once, and it’s okay to admire them and try to follow in their footsteps. But in terms of the application essays, you can only rely on yourself.
The admission officers are looking for originality. They are looking for the unique and personal touch in your essay. As they read your essay, they are looking for your passion. They are searching for that spark in your writing. If you write about something that you are not passionate about, well, good luck getting in. That something may result in an admission for some other applicant, but not for you.
Open up your heart. Dig down deep and find that one thing that is uniquely and truly you. What is it that makes you who you are? What is it that makes you special and different from others?
Be honest, even if it’s embarrassing or painful. Write from your heart; share your feelings with the reader. Instead of telling them how you feel, let them experience it for themselves. Hook them on your story, and they’ll be longing to know more about you. Next thing you’ll know, hey, you’re admitted!
So stop worrying yourself with things like, ‘oh, how should I write my essay so that I can get into my dream school.’ As long as you write from the heart and answer their prompt or question, you will be just fine.
Good luck 🙂
Links you might find useful:
Essays That Worked – these universities seem to agree with Syaza that you should just be yourself and write from your heart when it comes to penning application essays:
- Johns Hopkins University http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/essays/
- Connecticut College http://www.conncoll.edu/admission/apply/essays-that-worked/
- Tufts University http://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/essay-questions/past-essays/
Syaza Nazura is a business student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. While not entertaining the thoughts of whether or not Actuarial Science is the best path for her, she stuffs herself full of chocolate and blogs at http://syazanazura.com. This MARA scholar plays basketball and is in love with anime and manga.