A major college essay mistake is bragging. Don’t do it. Not in life. Not in college essays. Think about it for a second. Do you like the kid who tells you how he scored 22 points in last night’s basketball game? Or would he come across as cooler if you just happened to read about his feat in the newspaper box score over breakfast? The latter. For sure. Especially after you read that he scored 22 points on 9-28 shooting. Who shoots that much anyway, Kobe? Pass the ball around a bit.
A major college essay mistake is coming across as unlikable by being a braggart. There’s no need to let college admissions counselors know that you are the best player on your hockey team. Let the fact that the college’s hockey coach has indicated to the admissions office that you’re a highly coveted recruit speak for itself. If you’re a top student, don’t write about your grades and how you managed to score all A’s. College admissions counselors can read your transcript. Writing about your grades will only make you entirely uninteresting. And uninteresting is not going to help your case in the competitive game of highly selective college admissions.
People want to help people they like. People don’t want to help people they don’t like. Admissions counselors are people. It’s that simple. In your college essays, be sure to come across as someone admissions counselors can root for, someone who admissions counselors want to like. Doing anything but will jeopardize your chances for admission to a highly selective college.