Even if they do, they certainly don’t have the same knowledge and perspective that you have.To close this gap, you need to be as specific as possible. Let’s say you’ve decided to write about your time in high school marching band; specifically, you’re recounting the first time your performed with the band in front of a crowd (I use this example because it’s something I’m personally familiar with).More work needs to be done in order to craft an essay that makes you truly stand out.
If you’ve never done it before, free writing is just taking a topic and writing anything that comes into your head.
Just take a blank document or sheet of paper, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and start writing.
My suggestion is to just read through them and narrow down to one or two that really speak to you.
From there, get out a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas for each. Put down anything you can think of that might work as an essay.
That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.
Don’t pick a prompt just because you think answering it will make you sound “impressive.” This quote by former Stanford University Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet focuses on course selection, but it applies perfectly to essays as well: it that matters.You have to remember that the person reading your essay knows nothing about you, save for a few basic statistics.Furthermore, they likely know nothing about the subject of your essay.For the most part, it’s unlikely that you’ve experienced anything extremely uncommon in the relatively short amount of time you’ve been a human.Most high school students lead lives that don’t deviate too far from the norm – except that one quiet guy in your class who sits next to the window near the back.The point of this exercise is twofold: These are all jumping off points for the essay.They’ll get you started, but simply writing about these things alone isn’t enough.When you’re juggling transcripts, forms, dates, and everything else, it’s easy to brush off the college application essay as “just another part of the application.”However, while it’s true that the essay isn’t the only thing that matters to college admissions officers, a great essay can actually compensate for less than stellar grades. Most of the other parts of the application are just lists and statistics: GPA, courses taken, a list of extracurriculars, maybe some work or volunteer experience.This stuff matters…but it doesn’t make you special.This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.