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3 Things Never to Say in your College Essays

by Story2 Staff, on Jul 21, 2021 8:34:13 PM

  • I learned
  • I realized
  • I felt

What? Isn't the idea to use your essays to show colleges how you've overcome challenges and are now ready, willing and able to succeed in college?

Sort of. But not exactly. In a survey Story2 did with 50 private college admission officers, they said that 60% of students' essays sounded alike. That's right: most students' essays completely miss the boat on the purpose of revealing each student's unique perspective, personality and voice.

Even worse, they said, 20% of essays hurt the student's chance of admission because they sounded like they'd been written by counselors, coaches, or parents.

So why NOT use those generic phrases about how you've come to be the awesome person you are? When you tell the reader what they're supposed to think about what you've done, you kill your ability to connect them with your unique perspective: what you saw in the world, what you and others said and -- most importantly -- what you did.

College essays aren't assignments for English class. Your essay's job is not to rehash the accomplishments in your resume or prove how smart you are by using words you found in the thesaurus but never say out loud.

It's much easier than all that fake stuff actually: tell a straightforward story from everyday life, one that shows you learning, changing, making a difference.

Go to College Admission Essays Made Easy.

For more info about college admission and scholarship essays and interviews, sign up for self-paced courses and our award-winning StoryBuilder writing platform FREE. Want to stay up to date on the latest tips and resources? Follow us @story2 on Instagram!

Topics:college admissionscollege essaysessay writing tips