June 15, 2015

College Admission Essay Advice

A journalist recently interviewed me about my advice on writing the college essay. I'm including an edited excerpt of the interview below.

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1. What did you select as your admission essay topic and how did you choose it?

I wrote about my experience as a youth delegate to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. My participation in this conference this was my most impressive achievement at the time, and the conference happened to fall immediately prior to the start of my senior year of high school. As such, making it my college admission essay topic was a no-brainer.

Background on how I came to attend the conference:

How to Choose Impressive Extracurriculars for College Admissions

The High School Superstar Effect in College Admissions


2. What's your best piece of advice for a high school senior who is writing an admission essay? 

Use plenty of anecdotes and be sure to start "in the moment" to keep readers engaged. Admissions officers are skimming hundreds of college essays each day, so you shouldn't be afraid to be unconventional (within reason) to grab their attention.


3. Did you learn anything about yourself from writing the essay?

Yes. Writing the college essay required me to analyze why I had become involved in the UN in the first place. It helped me to place my UN experiences within the broader context of my pre-college extracurriculars. It also helped me to determine my college major (Political Science).

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