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What are some tips for integration of your own values and beliefs in a college application essay?

I am planning on applying to a range of colleges with many highly selective institutions. How do you recommend I stand out in the application process and essay? #college #applications #JULY20

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Michele’s Answer

Congrats on a very exciting time in your life! I know it can certainly feel overwhelming, stressful or scary during the application process, but it will all be well worth it. When reflecting on your values and beliefs to implement into an essay, draw inspiration from the people daily (i.e. a friend you text memes to every day, a family member you are close enough to share embarrassing stories with, etc.) and ask yourself how you've grown from them. Furthermore, think of a story that is personal to you. These essays do not necessarily have to be written about intense or deep life-changing moments, but rather should be a story that gives the board member(s) a piece of you through your essay, which could be through a humorous or surprising story. The key is to show your personality with a memorable story behind it and your ability to write why that story resonates with you as a growing student and/or professional.
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Meghan’s Answer

Hello! College essays can be scary, but think of them as a creative way to tell an interesting story about yourself. The best advice I can give you is to be as honest and as sincere as possible in your essay. Choose to tell a story that best shows the reader how you have overcome adversity, how you lead by example, or how you live out your values and try to share those values with others. One example may be a time when you didn't get something you worked very hard for and how you recovered and came back stronger from that failure. Another example may be how you influenced a group of students to do community service or attend a school function to make a change. Whatever your story may be, find a way to show the reader who you are beyond the classroom and test scores. They want to know how you can add value to their institution as a person, not just a student.

I hope this helps and good luck!
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Amelia!

I'm super excited for you too. This is an exciting time. I agree with the advice you've received so far. I would add a couple of things to this.

1. There are a couple of resources available which provide samples essays. It would be good to read through these to see the practical application of the suggestions shared so far. - i.e. 100 successful college application essays
2. Agree it doesn't have to be a significant event in your life, but college admissions directors definitely want you to SHOW your qualities in a story as opposed to telling them what you are like.
3. Ensure you have an engaging opening sentence. It is important to grab their interest early.

Best of luck to you!
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