4 5 1 4 1 2 1 . Estela Laureano, at a Long Island Writing Project workshop, honing her college-essay writing skills. Picture this before you plop yourself down in front of your computer to compose your college application essay: A winter-lit room is crammed with admissions professionals and harried faculty members who sit around a big table covered with files.
I went to a developing country and discovered poor people can be happy. They wade through long lists of candidates, state by state, region by region. The best applications and the weakest don’t come to committee. It’s the gigantic stack in the middle that warrants discussion. The truth is, most essays are typical.
Your goal is to write an essay that makes someone fall in love with you. Once you commit the time and emotional energy to get your butt in the chair to write, you face a daunting task — figuring out what to write about. If you’re stuck, you’re in good company.
With so much freedom, this is a challenge for most students. Here’s a tip: Choose a topic you really want to write about. If the subject doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to the reader. Write about whatever keeps you up at night. That might be cars, or coffee.
It might be your favorite book or the Pythagorean theorem. It might be why you don’t believe in evolution or how you think kale must have hired a PR firm to get people to eat it. A good topic will be complex.