How to start a college experience essay

College experience essay

The application package would seem hefty for everyone who isgetting ready to enter a higher education school. One of the mostchallenging tasks for a majority of applicants is writing acollege experience essay or entrance essay. They feel that theyare expected to write in a particular manner that means moreadvanced language, structure and other formalities. But more thanever applicants fell apprehensive about the efficiency of theirpapers which go through a strict selective expertize.

Everyone wants that his or her essay to be chosen among the heapsof other application essays.

That is why it is extremely important to learn every single thingabout this type of papers, understand its goals and structure andget armed with effective writing strategies. This article willreveal all peculiarities and secrets about admission essays andteach you to write like a pro.

All you need is to organize yourself and follow our instructionsstep by step. By organizing, we mean effective time management,persistence, attentiveness to details, an early start but aboveall we place your utter desire to win the writing battle. If youhanker for studying in the college of your dream, you willovercome all the obstacles easily. And these essay writing tipswill bring you a step forward to your goal. Let’s get startedfrom learning what a college admission paper is and why it shouldbe focused on your personal experience.

A college entrance paper is an essay usually written by a promptthat covers such important details about your background,personality, interests, experiences (mainly college experience)and your career goals.

Let’s go deeper to the common application requirements and someindividual prompts that higher schools issue for new students.

A common application is a unified admission form which makes iteasy to understand what to include in your admission paper. Ifyou use the common app, you will have to choose one of theprompts and respond to it with 250 –700 words.

Here is the list of widespread prompts confirmed by mostcolleges:

  • Most often people learn life lessons by overcoming theobstacles they are encountering throughout their life. Theknowledge and experience you get from such lessons can befundamental to your further success. Recall a situation when youfaced some challenges, failure or a mishap and tell how itaffected you and what you have learned from it.
  • Many students believe that they should speak about theirbackground, interests, talents and activities. A good idea willbe to mention something that is truly meaningful to you. If youfeel that some information is so valuable to you that yourportrait will look incomplete without these facts, please shareyour story.
  • Tell about the problem you had and describe how you managedto solve it. No matter how big or serious it was. You may tellabout some intellectual challenge, interpersonal problem,research issues, or a social dilemma - anything thatsignificantly influenced your personal views and made youstronger. Describe how you decided to solve it, who else helpedyou and how successful your the solution was.
  • Reflect on the situation when you felt critical to somebelief. What prompted you to think sceptically about that idea?What answers did you finally get? Were they satisfying?
  • Think of the event, achievement or accomplishment that hascontributed to your personal development. Discuss how it affectedyour attitudes and beliefs.
  • Tell about the idea that you find so interesting and engagingthat it makes you overwhelmed. Why are you so passionate aboutit? What do you do to learn more about it?
  • Write an essay on any other topic that attracts you. You areallowed to use other application prompts. You are free todescribe everything that in your opinion can best reveal to theadmission committee your individuality and strivings.

What does your experience essay show?

Your SAT score, records and a list of after-school activitieswill not tell about yourself better as your experience essay can.When writing about some significant events, lessons and conceptsyou are revealing yourself as a personality.

Experience essays are a perfect opportunity to tell about:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses
  • Hobbies and favourites
  • Principles and beliefs
  • Adventures and the people you admire
  • Successes and failures
  • Endeavors and aspirations

By your essay, admission officers can see if you are able to:

  • Think critically
  • Retrospect and reflect on the situation
  • Overcome difficulties
  • Write to the point
  • Draw conclusions
  • Express yourself with clarity
  • Write according to prescribed rules
  • Follow the prompt
  • Learn from experience
  • Grow mentally
  • Interact with people
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Organize yourself
  • Accumulate knowledge

Looking at this checklist, you can touch any topic provided thatit will exhibit your aptitudes and skills. Here are some tips toshow your abilities in the right light:

  • Achievements

When covering this topic, make sure you do not repeat theinformation from your resume. You have to tell something new.Think, for instance, your resume has a list of awards that youhave received all through your life but you want to refer to someachievement in your essay again. To do this, you should not focuson the result but tell why it was significant to you. Forexample, you have won a regional bee spelling contest. Explainwhat prompted you to participate in the contest and what you weredoing to approach your goals. Reflect how this victory influencedyour further studies, how it improved your self-esteem andwhether you continued developing your writing skills or not.

  • Challenges

It is a good idea for your essay to talk about the problems youfaced and how you solved them or how you overcame somedifficulties like health problems, the death of close people, arift, divorce of your parents, moving to another school, bullyingand lots of other things. The idea is to show how you managedthis or that case and what you have learned afterwards. However,you should remember that your essay is not the place for makingexcuses for poor academic scores or miscarried plans.

  • Unique events

College admission officers love to read about some excitingexperiences. They would be pleased to know if you lived abroad,visited some extraordinary place, participated in thearcheological expedition, got acquainted with a famous person,had an exotic pet, etc. But it is not enough just to state thefact. You have to show how this unusual situation affected yourlife. For example, if you once met a celebrity and could talk tohim or her, you may tell whether your expectations about thisperson were true or not. And next, you have to highlight what youhave gained after the meeting, like from that moment you do notget embarrassed any more talking to strangers or you have decidedto learn more about etiquette rules. Do not get overwhelmed ifyour experience does not relate to your future studies. It doesnot have to. What matters more is that you have enriched youroutlook and filled your mind with new knowledge.

  • Career path

If you are intending to take up a certain field of study, youshould explain what has influenced your choice and what steps youhave made to take this career path. Describe your attempts to trythis or that activity and tell if your efforts confirmed yourdecision. Every qualification requires specific skills which youcan acquire while learning a set of disciplines. For instance,your desire to become a travel agent inspired you to apply for aguide position during your summer holidays. Or let’s imagine thatyou want to enter a Hotel Administration college and thereforeyou made up your mind to work part-time at a local inn. In theessay, you have to indicate your duties and experiences whileserving the hotel residents.

  • Childhood experience

Students who are good story-tellers can penetrate into theirearliest years and recall on how their childhood impressions,events or people have shaped their character. We often forgetthat the most important lessons happen at the very beginning ofour lives. The thing is we are not always able to evaluate theirsignificance. And it is wonderful if you can remember such anexperience and analyze it being almost an adult person.

Strategies to survive writing process

College experience essay

One of the biggest mistakes of many applicants is that they stufftheir essay with a lot of things which do not let the admissionofficer select your best qualities. Your entrance paper is not abiography, reminiscences about the school life and a list of youractivities and hobbies. You are not expected to include everyother event in the paper even if it seems very important to you.

If you want your essay to stand out, the following strategieswill help you focus on the meaningful things when presentingyourself to your college admission body:

  • Strategy1. Show how you can contribute to both academic andextra-curricular life of the college. You can do it by tellingthat you are interested in some scientific work. You can tellthat you will be happy to join some student society. For example,you were a member of your school aerobics team and in yourcollege, you can continue your sports career.
  • Strategy2. Highlight your organizational skills. The collegelooks for people able to manage the others and hold differentevents.
  • Strategy3. Show not tell. Your task to illustrate yourabilities rather than discuss them. If you are good at something,show how you personally, your surrounding people or schools willbenefit from that.
  • Strategy4. Focus on working experience

If you had a chance to work somewhere, it is a great idea to tellabout it in your essay. This is because work makes people matureand more experienced in various fields. Almost every workexperience improves a number of skills like technical competency,communication and problem-solving skills, time management,flexibility and others. Moreover, while working you develop suchqualities as responsibility, punctuality, determination, loyaltyand honesty.

  • Strategy5. Show your enthusiasm for studies. To persuade thecollege that you are a worthy student who is going to do his bestin class, you should first learn more about the college goals.Before you apply, please carry out your own research about thecollege. Look through the college website for the betterunderstanding of its policies and teaching staff. Contactgraduate students who can give some advice on what things wouldbe appropriate in your essay. Finally, you may visit your collegeand see everything with your eyes.

What makes a bad entrance essay?

Now you will get precious knowledge of what bad entrance essaysare so that to be able to avoid these mistakes in your ownwriting.

Here are the problems that feature a poorly written collegeexperience essay:

  • Too personal writing

It is crucial not to cross the boundary of privacy when talkingabout your life experiences. If you want to be sure that you havenot stepped into the private zone, use this method: imagine youare having a conversation with a stranger in a transport. Ifthere is something you cannot discuss with him, may also soundinappropriate to your college admission officer.

  • Revealing immoral actions

It is recommended that the applicants should be honest whentalking about who they are. However, it is not good if theselection committee will read about some illegal or unethicalthings about you. Bad experiences have nothing to do withdishonourable acts. Therefore, you must avoid mentioning suchthings as committing crimes, taking drugs or alcohol, sexualexperiences and so on. Moreover, do not make your story toofictional even if it is true. Try not to mention suchpathological flaws like narcissism, kleptomania, shoppingaddiction, etc.

  • Too confident manner

It is pretty fine that you believe in yourself, however, no oneloves a haughty person boasting of his accomplishments. Do notpraise yourself as there are other people who can estimate yourmerits. For example, your volunteering practices deserve respectbut this fact does not make you a hero.

  • Too boring, vague and clichéd

Remember that your readers are looking for a vivid, smart andeventful story. They hate monotonous papers that describe keyactivities (already mentioned in your resume), essays thatillustrate sad formative events. As it was said above, you shouldnot describe your feelings and emotions but show how you havedealt with the situation.

College admission officers are sick and tired of the essays thatcompletely focused on sport, privileged positions compared topoorer people, community service and so on. Students have atendency to copy the ready-made essays which look like twins andrepeat the same ideas and that is why their essays are full ofoffbeat examples.

Overuse of metaphors or comparing oneself with the animal oreveryday objects. Frequently, the reader will simply do notunderstand what you mean – and this is a waste of your essayspace. So write as clearly as you can.

A famous quote in the introduction. We have nothing against thismethod but remember that an admission essay is a paper where youplay the music. Quotations are good somewhere inside the essaybut not in the first line.

  • Poor editing

Revising the essay for typos, grammar, and punctuation and formaterrors is a long meticulous process which you should never skip.This is the part of writing which requires the outsideassistance. It will be great if you find several people who willproofread your essay. However, the best idea is to entrust yourfinal draft to the experts. Thus, your essay will be free of allsorts of mistakes plus be edited according to your level, thepaper style and subject.

What do successful papers look like?

The beauty of your entrance paper is that you revise it more thanonce. Two or three essay drafts are Ok for an applicant whostrives for splendid and flawless writing. This section isdevoted to the aspects that make your essay unique, attractiveand pleasant to read.

The features of marvellous admission essays are:

  • Creativity

This type of papers gives you more freedom as to the topic,structure and style. However, avoid such formats as a verse, playor other poetic forms.

  • Chronology of the paper

You are writing an essay that shows how you have changed andimproved due to a set of significances in your life so achronological approach is the best choice for this paper.

  • An engaging first sentence

This is a perfect chance to hook your readers once they have readthe first line of your essay. If you want to write a compellingpersonal statement, make it a bit funny or strange, hypotheticalor direct, memorable and clear.

  • Condensed paragraphs

You will not be able to cover all important experiences you’vegot. So select two or four crucial things you think will be moreinteresting for your readers. Also, try to avoid a detaileddescription. Speak to the point.

  • Great ending

Your last paragraph should be short and honest without being toofancy.

Extra professional help

College experience essay

We strongly advise you to reach out for extra assistance if youfeel unconfident about the content of your paper. Another opinionwill help you see if you are going the right way. You can seekhelp from parents, senior students, and school teachers.

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High price or reasonable price for the essay is often a guaranteethat your paper will be free of plagiarism, up to the level,well-designed and crafted according to required standards. In oneword, you will get a brilliant high-quality paper.

Our writing service has a magnificent experience in providingadmission essays to everyone who is in need. Even if you haveseveral days until the deadline, we will manage to prepare afirst-class college entrance essay which will find the key to theheart of the admission committee. Waiting for your request!

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