by Lacy Compton
An interesting piece came out in The New York Times this weekend: "Naked Confessions of the College-Bound: Oversharing in Admissions Essays." In the midst of relating tales of over-the-top college admissions essays the author has read (or heard about from others), the piece offers some valuable advice to rising seniors getting ready to work on their admission essays before the fall application season hits.
Don't be afraid to be emotionally vulnerable, experts interviewed for the piece share, but make sure you're not presenting "excessive and awkwardly naked testimonials" of your experiences--there really is such a thing as TMI, kids (too much information, for those of you not immersed in text-speak). The article does a good job of providing examples of "don't-go-there" topics mixed with suggestions of how potentially squeamish areas can be subtly included to emphasize other experiences (for example, one student's medical condition was used to help show the intensive medical education he undertook to help understand his illness).
For a little less personal look at the college admissions essay, encourage your students to check out some of these links, packed with more tips for finishing off their personal statements before they are due:
- 10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay
- 8 Tips for Crafting Your Best College Essay
- MIT Admissions: How to Write a College Essay
- An Admissions Dean Offers Advice on Writing a College Essay
And for those of you looking for help writing your personal statement for grad school, stay tuned--Prufrock will be releasing a book with examples of the best admissions essays from successful graduate school entrants in Spring 2015.