Friday, April 16, 2010

Myths and Misconceptions of the College Essay: Writing to Reveal Part 2

Myth #1: I have to cast myself as the hero (aka The Superman essay).

Often students feel a pressure to use their essay to strip off their "ordinariness" and flash their heroic "S" to college admissions folk.

Undoubtedly, all teenagers struggle with a sense of identity. At 17 and 18 years old, we are all still trying to figure out who we are.

As a result, many students try to mask insecurity by projecting a titanic personality into their essay.

I started a school in Cambodia.

I revamped the Stuco system.

I hit the game winning shot against Heritage Hall.

So often student's fail then to understand that what the admission reader wants to connect to is the student's humanness. Not their superhumanness.

I learned my Cambodian alphabet from a six year old with scabs on her feet.

I served 600 pancakes in four years while on the Stuco leadership team.

I watched as my fall away jumper rimmed in and out as the buzzer sounded.

These are the stories that endear us to the reader and forge that connective tissue.