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, and like a boss, you’ve been requesting transcripts, filling in your personal information, and asking for recommendation letters.But there’s one last requirement that you’ve been dreading.Whatever your reader’s process, you need to grab their attention.
And by “not an epic,” I mean both “not fiction” and “not a grand adventure story about an extraordinary protagonist.” Some students might feel pressured to invent tragic past experiences or monumental achievements to heighten the emotional appeal of their essays, but admission officers can detect bovine feces.
They also don’t expect you to have survived trauma or carried out heroic feats by your senior year in high school.
I’m talking about constructive feedback from trusted friends, family, or mentors.
Southwestern University Assistant Director of Admission Rebecca Rother recommends having two people review your essay.
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If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.and *.are unblocked.Maybe it’s because you’re not inspired by the various prompts.Perhaps you’re procrastinating because trying to express your character, personality, worldview, passions, writing skill,desire to go to a particular school all within just a few hundred words feels overwhelming.Or maybe you’re stressed because you know a lot rides on this part of your application but you don’t consider yourself a strong writer.Some admission officers pore over your application; others spend only minutes reading your documents.It may be very big (e.g., being adopted) or small (e.g., a jarring conversation at an after-school club meeting), but focus on the life lessons you learned from that experience.Some of the best essays I have read have been about a simple experience, but students have been able to put me in that moment with them and then expounded on how it changed them.”Remember that stories don’t begin with a repetition of the prompt (e.g., please don’t start with, “One time when I questioned or challenged a belief or idea was …”) or a definition from a dictionary (e.g., avoid saying, “Merriam–Webster defines ‘success’ as …”); instead, you should begin with something descriptive, such as setting the scene or jumping right into the middle of the action.It’s the summit of your mountain, the boss fight in your video game, the spun sugar on your croquembouche.If you’re like many high school students, you’ve been putting off this part of your application.Did you learn a skill you’ve used or would like to continue honing as an undergraduate?Did you learn an important lesson that has shaped how you think or behave in some way?