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Standout College Essays - 5 Ways to Get Your Essay Noticed

On August 1st when the Common App goes live seniors all over the country are going to be expected to write an attention grabbing unique and wise beyond their years college essay. Colleges use the essay to learn more about the candidate than the application can provide but also to differentiate between those who are bested suited for their institution. The personal statement essay is a daunting task to say the least and a great essay requires what we like to call “personal archaeology”, the digging and sifting through your memories, hopes, dreams, fears and failures to be truly outstanding. We have some unusual tips that may help you begin this process and inspire you to write the essay that earns you ACCEPTANCE!

5 Ways to Get Your Essay Noticed

  1. Journals. If you have kept a journal now is the time to read through it and spend some time annotating it as you reflect on your entries. If you have not kept a journal begin now and log entries about the highs and lows of your high school years. You may begin to see a theme develop, a point of view that you want to share, a dream you have worked toward, etc.

  2. Memory Boxes and other Mom Stuff. Mom’s love to save their kids treasured items, from stick figure drawings, macaroni necklaces and handmade cards we can’t get enough of the stuff our kids created. Now is the time to dust that box of memories off and sift through it and reminisce with your family over the contents. 

  3. Your desk. Look at what is on your desk and what is tucked away in your desk drawers. What story do the items on your desk tell about you? What items are jammed in the back of the drawer because they were too important to throw away? Again, this is about self-reflection and self-discovery so your space where you live your life everyday can help inspire you.

  4. Visit what inspires you. Are you inspired by art, music or the great outdoors? Go for long walks, attend a concert, visit museums or do whatever activity helps to inspire you. Good writing requires that you engage all your senses so look for places that will jump start your creativity and engage your senses.

  5. READ, READ, READ. Great writing requires great reading. Start reading great college essays to understand what type and level of writing you are working toward. But also read for pleasure and vary the genres you are reading. Twitter, Snap Chat and Instagram don’t count. So, hit the library or your local bookstore and READ, READ, READ!

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