College Essays and Likability
One of the most important things that a student can accomplish in a college essay is to come across as likable. So in order to have an understanding of how to come across as likable, let’s tell our readers how to come across as just the opposite — unlikable. Because an unlikable student — irrespective of their perfect SAT scores and perfect grades in the most rigorous courses that their high school has to offer — will have a difficult time gaining admission to highly selective colleges. You see, college admissions officers at highly selective colleges are not hard-pressed to find students with great grades and great scores. They’re out there. The sooner you accept this, the better.
What college admissions officers at highly selective schools are hard-pressed to find are students they want to root for. Too many college applicants make the mistake of bragging about their accomplishments in their college admissions essays. What’s an example of a typical brag? Like that time a student came back from injury to be the leading goal scorer on his soccer team (it’s cliche, too). Or that time a student became first chair violin or won a science research contest. Accomplishments have no place in college essays. Let your school counselor and teachers brag about you. It is not your place to cite your achievements in life.
Likewise, feeling the need to list your activities or even cite just one in your Common App. Personal Statement — it’s not necessary. You’re trying too hard. This makes you unlikable. And what happens if you put down a classmate or teacher in your essay? That doesn’t reflect well on you so don’t do it! Don’t be negative. Negativity goes hand in hand with being unlikable. Getting the idea? We hope so!
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