Nov 272011

Get Ready to Prepare for College – Your College Essay

Note:  This is  part 3 of the transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College.

For the previous segment: Applying for College – How important are extracurricular activities and sports?

This is how to prepare for college, writing your college essay.

How should I prepare for my college essay? What if I’m not the greatest writer?

When I talk to students and for 21 years that I’ve been doing this and all facets in higher education, I really – If there’s anything I can leave with you today would be the authentic and understand that we want to hear from you and who you are.

Prepare for College by Writing Your Own College Essay

prepare for college write your own college essayThat does not mean counselors, teachers, your mother, father, grandparents or you get somebody else to make sure that it makes sense or it is structured well or is it grammatically put in place – those are all important things and part of teamwork today is you pull upon those resources so that there’s strength. But at the end of the day, doing this again as long as I’ve done it, you can start to tell if a student has had someone else write their essay.

It does not seem to match their letters of recommendation, it does not match their other writing samples, it does not perhaps match their extracurricular activities to where it is much more reflective and far provoking, perhaps than a 17 year old would have life experienced to be.

Now that does not mean that there aren’t wonderful writers and people that are highly reflective and thought provoking at 17.  But usually that comes through in everything we are reading about the student versus we kind of have these other aspects about the students but then the essay is off the charts over here. You want to make sure that it’s the authentic voice of you are.

Let me tell you why that’s important. It’s not just important so that we know who you are. I mean that’s a critical piece.

But you want to be in a school that has the same fit and background that brings out your talent. And if you’re kind of writing for someone else and it’s not the true you, we may be admitting somebody that the fit is not going to be there be because the essays are not just a tool to hold somebody out.

Think of it as a tool that we build as a community to know how do we build and let people in and be a part. And so if it’s really not you, you may end up in an institution that may be isn’t the exactly the fit for you and that’s the danger.

The Next Segment is about taking AP classes.

Summary:  You need to be yourself when you write your essay.  You prepare for college with your college essay in a way that shows the real you.