The college admission essay is often called a personal statement, and for good reason. Good college essay writing demonstrates your ability to perceive life experiences with depth, and to draw meaningful observations and life-transforming conclusions. Top colleges and universities, especially Ivy League schools, not only want to get to know you – they want to understand how you see yourself in the world.

essay for college

One mistake that we’ve often encountered is students who begin the process of writing their college admission essay by combing through their old journal, diary, e-mails, or blog postings. Ok, it’s not the worst idea in the world, but it’s also not the best. If you know yourself at all, and if you’re fairly honest, you’re aware that throughout much of high school you’ve been a bit on the lazy side when it comes to writing essays. If you’re planning on going to an Ivy League school, you’re above average intelligence, and you’ve likely been able to “phone it in” with your high school essays, doing the minimum amount of work and still getting by with good grades.

The difference now is that the stakes are much higher. You’re not competing for Ivy League acceptance with your high school classmates, but with the top students from around the country – actually, from around the world. For college essay writing, you must step up your game.

College Application Essays

When you wrote those journals, diaries and blog entries, you were in a completely different state of mind – one that might not lend itself well to your college personal statement. Sure, you’ve chronicled all manner of personal experiences, but not in the way that best demonstrates your intellectual and spiritual credentials to an Ivy League school.

Our suggestion: read our detailed analysis of College Essay Topics, and then approach your college essay writing with a clean slate.