Most people who know me know I love writing and I aspire to be a writer of some sort. Lately, I have been writing college essays and they have been one of the most challenging things. For me, at least. I don’t usually write about myself and as such, I was presented with a few issues, such as not knowing how little or how much to say about myself, how personal it should be, how academics-focused it should be, and so on. The main issue was having to explain why I am worth being accepted into that university. I mean, I love learning. Reading and writing are essentially my life, but that just seemed quite plain to me; it lacked depth. As such, in my case, I talked about each of my penchants and how they’ve all molded me into a person that I’d like to think is worth looking at. I also inserted one of my writing pieces in there. So, it wasn’t the most conventional essay, so to speak, but it showcased who I am.

I’m writing about this topic because I feel like some of my friends have been a bit overwhelmed by the weight of this essay on their overall application.  All the essay aims to do is inform universities that you know how to write and above that, universities want to get to know you outside of your grades, extracurricular activities, and recommendation letters. For those who are still struggling with what to write and for those who will end up doing this in the coming years, I have a few pieces of advice:

Showcase your unique traits, but don’t boast.

Don’t ramble or write too much more than the word count provided.

Ensure that it reads well/flows. After you’re done writing or as you write, don’t disregard grammatical errors and typos.

Incorporate your hobbies or what you aspire to do in your essay. Find a way to link why you’d be a good candidate with your passion for whatever it is you’re thinking of doing after university.

Be genuine – Don’t write what you think universities want to hear. Not everyone loves learning so you don’t need to go on and on about wanting to expand your knowledge and learning more if you don’t mean it. Write what you honestly think and believe so long as it’s in a respectful manner.

By: Maya Abouelnasr