Whenever a prestigious academic institution announces vacant seats for students, they receive hundreds of applications from excited candidates. Everyone tries to impress selectors with academic achievements and unique qualities. However, there are limited seats and the selectors must shortlist the applicants.
Consequently, it becomes quite a difficult challenge to win a seat among hundreds of participants. Despite having an impressive profile, many students lose their seats only due to a few blunders they make unknowingly. Wondering if you might be going to make the same blunders? Check these out so you don’t have to face rejection.
5 Common Blunders That Students Make
In your efforts to make your college application essay stand out, you might be making some simple but devastating mistakes. Five of them are listed below to help you avoid them:
1: Avoid a Dragging Introduction
You should know that the application essay is much different from than traditional form of essay and the biggest difference is “introduction”. If you write a dragging, slow, or boring introduction, your application may be thrown into the dustbin in the very first place. To avoid making the introduction dragging, follow these tips:
- Keep your introduction concise and start with a short sentence. Do not repeat the application title.
- Highlight application purpose within 1-2 short sentences
- Explain why your application essay is important within 1-2 short sentences
- Input a fact to raise the reader’s enthusiasm and trust
- Create a situation to talk about your experiences and expertise
2: Avoid Manipulating Clichés
Every applicant tries to pretend himself as an extraordinary candidate before the selectors. That’s fine but you are not supposed to use clichés that are already overused. These clichés will not leave a great impression upon readers as they may have already read them multiple times before.
If you really want to stand out, find an idea that is relatively newer for your readers. Let’s take the examples below:
- You have a true passion for community service. Tell a true story about how you helped out families during the flood last year.
- You are so affectionate towards animals. Tell how you made arrangements to move an injured and lonely deer to a wildlife association. Emphasize how it is important to provide safe shelter for helpless animals.
3: Avoid Being Overoptimistic
A vast majority of applicants are afraid of rejection and this is pretty natural. But some applicants try to overcome this fear by showing themselves over-optimistic in their essay. How should you deal with this situation when you have to exhibit your abilities without showing overconfidence?
- Tell about your skills and strengths but don’t write with excessive pride and self-praising. As a result, it may be taken as boasting about your capabilities.
- Try to be confident but avoid being overconfident because this tone often causes misjudgment and leads to rejection.
- Being hopeful for application acceptance but avoid over-optimism. In reality, it turns out to be so painful.
- After all, you should be honest with your life experiences.
4: Avoid Sharing Private Information
Since you have to talk about yourself in the application essay, you have to reveal some parts of your life relating to career, courage, and social life. On the contrary, sharing extremely private information is never suggested. Let’s take the below examples:
- You should never discuss family problems just to gain the sympathy of the readers as the reaction will be absolutely different.
- When talking about your past experiences, don’t get emotional. It may lead you to share something which you would never like to share otherwise.
- There are some limits and you must keep yourself within those limits while writing about your past and private life.
- An admission essay asks for details but you should decide what to share and what to hide from the readers.
5: Misjudging Target Readers
Though an application essay follows a personal tone, it should not be an informal one at all. Remember you are not writing to your friends instead you are addressing directly to those who have to decide your fate. So, you must be so respectful. Remember these few tips while writing:
- Your reader has very limited time to read hundreds of similar essays. Hence you must not disappoint him/her with ready-to-use essay templates that are already used hundreds of times.
- If you use clichés and the readers know them well, they will not even bother to read the rest of the paper. So, write something unique to them.
- You have to catch the attention of the readers in the very first place and you can’t afford to lose it later too.
- Keeping the significance of the application essay in mind, you can also get help from your peers or essay writing online.
Bonus Tip: Be Who You Are
Don’t pretend to be a superhero because you are just a learner who is trying to build his better future. Stay true and tell everything honestly about yourself with authentic evidence.