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College Essay Myths

Last updated January 6, 2020

Myth: Your essay needs to be a masterpiece

Reality: Listen, college admissions advisors know you only have usually around 650 words to work with, and they know their prompts are kind of boring. They don’t expect you to reinvent the wheel with your college essay. But they do want to see you express yourself authentically. You’re a probably an awesome student and community member, but odds are you’re also a thoughtful, young weirdo—colleges want to be exposed to all of these lovely sides of your personality in your essays, so don't hold back!

Myth : You need to have an incredible life story to write an interesting college essay

Reality: You don’t need to have had a life-changing or tragic experience to write a good college essay. Colleges know that many 17 and 18-year-old students won’t have an incredible life story to share just yet, so don’t feel pressured to dramatize or exaggerate. Instead, focus on writing about an event or subject that allows you to express your personality and the way you view life earnestly.

Myth: You have to talk about everything you’ve ever accomplished in your essays

Reality: There’s a place for you to rattle off all the things you’ve achieved, extra-curriculars you’ve participated in, and academic honors you’ve received—and it’s called your resume. Make sure your college essays are covering new ground. If you’re talking about something that admissions officers can go check your resume to see, time to switch it up. 

Looking for essay writing tips? Check out our guide on how to write your best college essay!

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