His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone.
For a fleeting moment, he laments the absence of a personal tragedy to exploit while he sits with the cursor flashing—a pulsating symbol of perplexity. Especially tormented are the perfectionists, you dutiful students who view the college essay as just one more roadblock to be overcome with sheer will.
Beware, you can write and rewrite your college essay to death with multiple editors providing feedback as you try to get it just right, but as musician Mike Morris says, “too good is no good.” Seasoned admission deans can quickly detect the unauthentic essay that has been scrubbed over, soon devoid of any personal voice.
Young novelists, journalists, and published poets are all on similar footing with the typical English student when approaching the admission essay—it is not just about how you write but also how vulnerable you are willing to be.
It is a test to see if you can get out of your head and open your heart.