selfie (n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. Oh, selfie…you rascal, you. You may have wormed your way through Instagram—and even into the Oxford English Dictionary as the Word of the Year—but you’ll never worm your way into a college admissions officer’s heart.
What is the point of selfies? They are pictures we take of ourselves…basically to show off. We can manipulate the background, the outfit, the pose, the expression, the angle. And nobody will see it unless we like it enough to post it. We manipulate the image.
It’s easy to fall into the selfie trap when you’re writing your college admissions essay. Of course you want to manipulate what the college sees. You want to seem smarter, kinder, sportier, and more successful than you actually are. (Don't sweat it. Even the students who are smart, kind, sporty, and successful feel that way.)
But fight the feeling.
Show colleges a candid picture of yourself instead.
Because there is nothing juicier and enjoyable than a good candid.
A candid is a photo that is taken informally, often without the subject’s knowledge. I live for finding old candids. Smiling pictures are nice—don’t get me wrong—but I looooove seeing someone caught with a surprised/horrified/upset/furious look on her face. It tells a much clearer story than a smiling photo ever could.
Most importantly, it’s real.
It’s a literal and figurative snapshot of your life. It’s the you in your sweats on a Saturday night. It’s the you that only your family knows. It’s the you that your best friend sees when you’re stressed about homework or thrilled to win the game.
This candid, sometimes messy, always intriguing version of you says way more than a polished selfie ever could. And believe it or not, it's more attractive, too. So forget the perfect pageant response and write what you feel, what you know. Write about the authentic you.
Write yourself as a candid, not a selfie.
What do you think? Are selfies here to stay, or should they snapchat themselves into oblivion? Let me know what you think!
Visual evidence. Doesn't that second picture tell an amazing story?*
*No adorable twin girls were harmed in the creation of this blog.
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