Get Schooled

College Application Essay Myths

Last updated August 17, 2023

College Application Essay Myths

Are you curious about how to tackle your college application essay effectively? Have assumptions that make you nervous about the process? Don’t worry, - we’re here to bust those myths surrounding college application essays so that you can approach the writing process with confidence!

Myth #1: Your essay needs to be a masterpiece

Gif of a man with a shocked look on his face

Reality: Listen, college admissions advisors know you only usually have 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 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 #2: You need to have an incredible life story to write an interesting college essay

Gif of a man in glasses doing the "mind blown" gesture

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 with detail.

Myth #3: You have to talk about everything you’ve ever accomplished in your essay

A man unrolling a long scroll of paper

Reality: There’s a place for you to rattle off all the things you’ve achieved, extracurriculars 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 or other application materials to see, time to switch it up.

For additional essay tips, explore our free College & Scholarship Application Essay resources. Need feedback on your essay draft? Submit it here, and our advisors will review and provide feedback within a week!

If you have more questions about the college application process, just text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

Get to College

College Applications

How To Make Your College Application Stand Out

See the whole series

Let Get Schooled help you achieve your goals

Sign UpLog In


How to Write Your College Application Essay

Here’s how to write your college application essay!

Free College Application and Scholarship Essay Review

Get Schooled's free college application and scholarship essay review! Receive actionable feedback and suggestions within 1 week of submission!

Get Schooled helps young people get to college, find first jobs, and succeed in both.

About UsOur TeamBoard of DirectorsFAQ

Pursue Your Goal

©2024 Get Schooled