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What is the main thing I need to include in my college essay?

I am a junior in high school and my favorite classes are math and science. My hobbies are reading, writing and hair styling. I want to major in either psychology, nursing, or information technology.

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Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Aniya,

Your college essay should be a captivating personal tale that effectively highlights your distinctive traits, life experiences, and future aspirations.

Begin with an Introduction: Your essay's opening should immediately engage the reader, setting the stage for the narrative that follows. A personal anecdote, an intriguing question, or a strong statement that mirrors your personality and interests could be an excellent way to start.

Incorporate a Personal Story: A key feature of a successful college essay is a personal story that underlines your journey, hurdles, personal development, and accomplishments. Include specific instances from your life that showcase your resilience, determination, and love for learning. Link these experiences to your academic interests and future objectives to illustrate how they've influenced your identity and aspirations.

Discuss Academic Interests: As you're considering majoring in psychology, nursing, or information technology, it's crucial to explain why these fields attract you and how your academic history and extracurricular activities have equipped you for success in these areas. Discuss what drives you to choose these majors and how you plan to make a positive impact in these fields.

Offer a Unique Perspective: To distinguish yourself in the competitive college admissions process, it's vital to provide a unique viewpoint or insight that sets you apart from other candidates. You could talk about how your hobbies, such as reading, writing, and hairstyling, have contributed to your personal development and shaped your perspective. Highlight what makes you a valuable addition to the college community and how your varied interests enhance your overall character.

Conclude Effectively: In your essay's conclusion, revisit the key aspects of your personal story and academic interests, also reflecting on what you aim to achieve from your college journey. Conclude on a high note by expressing your excitement for learning, personal growth, and making a positive contribution to the campus community.

By integrating these components into your college essay, you can craft a compelling and unforgettable narrative that showcases your strengths, passions, and potential for success in higher education.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used in Answering this Question:

The College Board: The College Board is a trusted source offering valuable insights and guidelines on writing college essays. Their resources provide tips on creating engaging narratives and effectively highlighting one's unique traits.

Princeton Review: Renowned for its expertise in college admissions guidance, the Princeton Review's advice on college essays is highly respected for assisting students in crafting impactful essays that resonate with admissions officers.

Harvard College Admissions Office: Harvard College's Admissions Office provides valuable resources on writing standout college essays. Their insights offer valuable guidance on creating a robust personal narrative and effectively emphasizing one's academic interests.

Stay blessed!
James Constantine.
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Patrick’s Answer

Aniya, first and foremost, I appreciate your initiative in seeking guidance on crafting your college essay. I trust the following advice will be enlightening and beneficial.

The crux of a compelling college essay lies in its ability to present a vivid picture of the applicant's character, interests, and ambitions. As a prospective student considering psychology, nursing, or information technology, your essay should weave a captivating story that brings to light your unique journey, passions, and motivations.

Start by delving into your academic interests, extracurricular activities, and personal experiences that have kindled your desire to study psychology, nursing, or information technology. You could talk about your favorite math and science classes, explaining how these subjects have sparked your enthusiasm and shaped your career goals. For instance, you might share how your fascination with math and science ignited your curiosity about human behavior, leading you to consider psychology. Alternatively, you could explore how your interest in technology aligns with your aspiration to enhance healthcare systems and patient care, inspiring you to consider a career in nursing or IT within the healthcare sector.

Moreover, your hobbies and extracurricular activities, such as reading, writing, and hair styling, can add depth and color to your essay. Discuss how these pursuits have enriched your life, nurtured your creativity, and honed vital skills like communication, problem-solving, and empathy. For example, you might reveal how your love for reading and writing has honed your communication skills, which you believe will be instrumental in your future academic and professional journey. You could also underscore your interest in hair styling as a creative outlet, showcasing your ability to juggle diverse interests and responsibilities.

Your college essay is also a golden opportunity to express your goals, aspirations, and rationale for choosing your preferred majors. Whether it's your ambition to positively impact mental health through psychology, your passion for providing empathetic care as a nurse, or your interest in harnessing technology to solve complex issues and enhance healthcare delivery, make sure to convey a strong sense of purpose and dedication to your chosen path.

In essence, your college essay should tell a captivating story that highlights your unique traits, interests, and ambitions. By intertwining your academic interests, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and career aspirations, you'll offer admissions officers a comprehensive understanding of who you are and why you'd be a valuable addition to their institution. Remember, your college essay should echo with authenticity, passion, and clarity, leaving an indelible mark on the admissions committee.
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Julia’s Answer

Hi Aniya,
A lot of great suggestions above! I agree that being genuine in your story is one of the most important aspects. In your college essay, I would recommend highlighting how you became interested in a certain subject and what you did to learn more about it (took classes, researched, etc.). Tying that into how you plan on making an impact is what I recommend! Good luck :)
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William’s Answer

Hello!

It's fantastic that you're contemplating about furthering your education and gearing up to tackle your college essay! The essay isn't just about your accomplishments, it's a platform to display your unique experiences and character. Instead of just listing what's on your resume, concentrate on demonstrating how you're passionately chasing your dreams. Always be truthful and assertive in your responses!

Wishing you the best of luck!
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Ben’s Answer

I agree with Chris; ensure your story is genuine and distinct, reflecting your personal experiences. Also, strive to illustrate your conviction that an education from XYZ University will pave the way for you to realize your dreams and ambitions.
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Chris’s Answer

The most important element of your college essay is adding details that make you unique from other perspective candidates. Each and everyone of us have unique experiences and challenges that we have faced that define who we are. If you can weave those experience into how they led you to your perspective major that is even better. An example I personally have is that I wanted to be a teacher so in my essay I wrote about how my experience with one of my high school Spanish teachers showed how important of a role that teachers can play.

Otherwise, the other advice I would give you is be concise. Have an introduction that tells your reader what the essay will be about, follow that up with a few example(s), and then conclude with a final paragraph that reiterates what you learned from your examples and how they impact you going forward. I have always felt that a good essay is more about the quality more than the quantity. Say what you want to say and make sure the reader understands the point you want them to understand.
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Jannette’s Answer

I encourage you to incorporate your hobbies and passions, showing how they connect with your envisioned future. It's also crucial to clearly outline your objectives.
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Stephen’s Answer

It's important to show that you have interests outside of work or school, like participating in sports or getting involved in programs that help the community.
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Rameez’s Answer

Write about hair styling! Colleges get so many boring essays so anything you can write about that is unique is something that they will find interest in. Your college essay, depending on the topic, does not have to be about work/studies. It can simply be about an experience and how it shaped you as a human, not a student.
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