How I Wrote My College Essay

I have been encouraging and advising you about writing your college essay on this blog for over a month now, and I realized that you might be curious about MY college essay writing experience.

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As I mention to everyone who inquires about my services, I felt like the worst college essay writer of all time. As a high school senior, I was in advanced classes and I always felt like writing was my jam, but when I had to sit down and write my college essay, I just couldn't do it. I felt like I had nothing to write about, I wasn't special, nobody would care what I had to say...and all those horrible things that run through your mind when you give up on something before you even try.

I eventually realized that my problem wasn't the writing. My problem was that I was terrified of going to college. I knew it was something I had to do, but I was so, so scared to leave my home and my friends and everything I knew and loved for 17 years. So when I sat down to write, I wasn't thinking about the essay--I was thinking about all the things I was afraid of.

Once I put those things aside, I was able to concentrate much more clearly. I tried a couple of essay topics that didn't pan out. When I started writing, I would be really excited for about a paragraph...and then I realized I had nothing more to say. So I started over a few times. Okay, more than a few times.

Finally, I hit on the perfect topic. I wrote about my great uncle, the family historian who lived in a tiny village in Sicily. It wasn't big, it wasn't bold, it wasn't life-changing. But it was the perfect topic for me because it was about MY life. It was something I truly cared about and was eager to share. That topic told any admissions counselor who read it that I value family, that I am loyal, that I am appreciative of the people around me. With that essay, I was fortunate enough to be admitted to every school I applied to, and I received two full-tuition scholarships.

Okay, okay, I sound like I'm bragging, which makes me want to cringe and delete that last part, but I'm telling you this to impress upon you just how important your essay is in the application process. It's your one shot to be a real person, instead of a column of grades and numbers. So use that moment to SHINE!

Tune in next week for part two of my essay experience!

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