There’s a piece in “The Wall Street Journal” today about writing great college admissions essays. In the piece entitled “Writing the Right College-Entrance Essay” by Lacy Crawford, the writer, a former independent college counselor, discusses how students need to find their own unique voice in their college admissions essays. And how a student’s father’s voice isn’t finding your own unique voice! We couldn’t agree more. In the piece, Ms. Crawford tells the story of how a father — a hedge-fund manager — wrote his child’s admissions essay about how a community needs to be filled with stars as well as average folks…and that his son was one of the average folks. He tried to persuade admissions counselors to admit his son because of his mediocracy. Now isn’t that funny?
Parents should never write their child’s admissions essays. It’s blatantly obvious when they do this. Even the tiniest slip can give it all away and do you think your child will stand a chance at admission to his or her dream college if the admissions office suspects a parent wrote their college admissions essays? Not a chance. Ever. Ms. Crawford also discusses how one student was instructed by her high school college counselor not to write about her mother’s illness. She was essentially advised that writing about a parent’s illness is trite and can be perceived as obviously manipulative. But the student chose to ignore this advice and wrote a great essay that began with: “My college counselor told me not to write about my mother’s cancer, but if you want to know anything about me, you have to know what I’m dealing with every day of my life.” Nice.
How do you intend to showcase your own unique voice in your college admissions essays. Writing great college admissions essays requires that you share who you are and what you’re all about with admissions officers. So dig deep and start thinking if you haven’t already begun the process. If you’re a rising high school senior, it’s a shame you haven’t started earlier as you had all summer to work on your college essays!