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I don't know what to write in my college essay

I can't think of anything interesting in my life that'll be beneficial for writing a college essay. writing creative-writing

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Kristin’s Answer

Oh, wow. I remember struggling with this too! I used to think: "I'm young! I haven't done anything interesting in my life, or anything worth writing about."

But...don't fall into that trap. You *absolutely* have something worth writing about!

The best writing is always that which comes from experience - even if the experience may seem mundane. So you could write about your family (What's your family's history? How did you come to be here?). You could write about challenges you've had growing up either personally or academically, and how you have overcome (or are trying to overcome) those challenges. Or you could write about what excites you about college, what things interest you, what experiences you want to have as you go out and explore the world.

What I'm trying to say is: Write what you know. Colleges are looking for people with diverse experiences, people who are interested in things, and who are eager to learn. When I encounter a writing block, the way I overcome it is by sitting in the chair and writing in a stream-of-conscious manner for 2 pages. See what comes out! And then edit from there.

Writing is hard, but you can do it. Best of luck with your essay!

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Trudy’s Answer

Sit down and think thru what inspires, what makes you smile, laugh out loud, or sad and elicits an emotion or passion within you.. and think about why it triggers such an emotion. Then just simply write a couple of paragraphs on it... Review, iterate, Review, and iterate. A great tip is using imagery in your writing, setting up actions and or places to help the person reading to picture the story in their mind. The college essay is an opportunity for these administrators who only see a paper in front of them, and allows them to get to know you the person, for them to imagine you walking thru the hallways of their college.

Here is a great example of the college essay from a young girl that was accepted to 5 ivy league schools.

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Selena’s Answer


Is there something specific the college is asking you to write about? I believe they are mainly looking for someone who will represent their college well, be there to learn, be involved in the school, and succeed afterwards.

Can you think about a time when you have succeeded?

Selena recommends the following next steps:

It is difficult to write about yourself, but think about going to have coffee or hot chocolate with someone and "spitball" topics in a sense.
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Richard’s Answer

It doesn't need to be your past -- think through your thoughts on key issues that matter to you -- philisophical or political -- and what you want out of this life!!

You want to tailor it to you and to the school as much as possible. If it is not unique to the school/person combo, the essay will not be as strong as it might otherwise be. Also, make sure to insert your values and ambitions as much as possible!
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Simeon’s Answer

The story from your life doesn't have to be interesting per se. It could also be a personal moment that gives the reader a sense of your goals and values. You want to avoid portraying yourself as a generally good student with no other interests and qualities. Don't worry if something unique to you doesn't sound interesting. It'll be enough to stand out if it is unique.