Connecting with Readers in Admissions Essays
On dates, it’s all about finding a connection, right? Someone can be super attractive, so nice, very intelligent, and all but if you don’t feel it, you don’t feel it. If that connection doesn’t exist, that date isn’t going to be turning into a relationship anytime soon. End of story. Well, it’s a similar kind of connection that students should try to build in their college admissions essays. Should college applicants try to build romantic connections with admissions officers? Don’t be ridiculous. But by telling their (hopefully) unique narrative, it should be their task, their objective, to sway admissions officers to root for them.
That’s what building a connection is all about. And to inspire people to want to root for you, to inspire them to feel like they can see themselves in your shoes, you’ve got to be likable. You’ve got to be relatable. You’ve got to not brag. Let’s say that one again. Don’t brag, don’t brag, don’t brag. Ok, we said it a few times because as much as we might say this on the pages of our college admissions blog, it still fails to sink in with so many. Did we say don’t brag in college essays?
College admissions essays are a unique opportunity to forge a connection with admissions officers. Don’t waste it.
Considering writing your college admissions essays about travel in foreign countries? The admissions officers reading your applications often make around $65,000 a year. So don’t write about travel. And why? Because they’re not going to relate to your galavanting across Europe. Or Africa. They don’t have those kinds of vacation days. They don’t necessarily have that kind of money. Considering writing about winning an award and how much it meant to you? Don’t do it. You know why. Considering writing about the influence of your family, with hints of your family’s wealth? Yikes. Don’t do it.
Are you starting to get the idea? Your goal in each and every college admissions essay is to forge a connection with your reader. And yet so many college applicants waste this opportunity and in fact hurt their chances at admission by taking the wrong approach to these essays. They just so often don’t realize it and are rather surprised when they end up not getting in. It should be no surprise!
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