How to Make Your College Application Essay the Best Writing You’ve Ever Done (#7 of 25)

Here’s the seventh of my twenty five ways to make your college admissions essay the best writing you’ve ever done.

#7. Be Bold

Your application essay is a chance to distinguish yourself from other applicants and walking away from that, by writing a “nice,” predictable essay, will be an opportunity missed. It might not hurt you, but if there is a decision to be made between you and a braver student with similar credentials, it certainly won’t count in your favor. It’s important, therefore, to first pick a topic that is unique, and striking (please see my earlier blogs on this subject).

Deep Thinking Is the Key

As it relates to #7, Be Bold, however, even if the events recounted in your essay aren’t that dramatic (not everyone can be raised by parents studying lemurs in Madagascar), you can still approach them in a bold way. This means eschewing the obvious or mundane, and examining the subject matter from a unique and dynamic perspective. Don’t state an idea that the reader already knows; don’t go straight down the middle with obvious conclusions. Instead, keep in mind that the people reading your essays are drawn to deep and original thinkers, and it is to your advantage to demonstrate that level of perception and introspection. Go below the surface of the events of your essay and explore what impact they have had on you and your outlook on life. Demonstrate that you are a thoughtful person of character who sees connections in the world. Don’t suggest you have all the answers, but at least imply that you are compiling a list of questions.

To quote a well-known Lion… “Courage!”

In both conceiving and writing your admissions essay, there is no room for timidity. If you want to get into a competitive school (and aren’t they all?), you’re going to have to be bold.

For more personal help with the Common Application essay, supplemental or any other college application essays, please contact Craig Heller at, or 818-445-4697.

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