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    Conquering the College Essay in 5 Steps

    Posted June 3, 2014, 3:00 pm by Sara Zhou
    conquer college essay

    As a high school senior, there's a lot I wish I had known about college applications last year, when I was in the middle of applying to colleges. While the process is no doubt hectic, it can be eased with these five steps for the college admissions essay.

    1. Start Early

    The summer before your senior year is a great time to start on the Common App essay. Even though the application deadlines are months in the future, you will not regret starting the process. This way, you wont be stressed out over writing three personal essays, taking the SATs, and keeping your grades up throughout your senior fall.

    2. Don’t Be Afraid of Your Ideas

    Starting your essay ahead of time also leaves extra time for self-doubt. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect essay. The best advice is not to be afraid of your ideas: celebrate the spontaneity of a moment’s inspiration, and reflect on past summer and school experiences.

    3. Revise

    Revise, revise, and revise some more. After a while, you will become so sick of your essay that it may be better to take a short break from writing. After a week or so, come back to your essay—you’ll have more time to think and add creative touches to your writing.

    4. Write About You

    Every high school student wonders: what about my life is interesting enough to get me into college? They let college counselors, advisors, parents, and teacher’s thoughts and comments on their essay dictate their tone and style.

    5. Relax

    Realize that writing applications can be a worthwhile and rewarding activity, if you allow it to be that. Try to have fun while writing your essay, and you will undoubtedly interest your admissions reader. Don’t forget: it’s your essay—yours is the voice that should shine through.

    Enjoy yourself, start writing, and good luck!

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    Sara Zhou

    Sara Zhou

    Sara Zhou is a senior high school student at the Winsor School in Boston.