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A List of Horrible Application Essay Topics

Choosing a bad application essay topic can wreak havoc on your chances of getting into the college you want. While a good writer can usually turn one of the topics listed below into a strong application essay, more often than not writing about any of these usually harms an application.

Do what you can to avoid any of these seven topics:

Writing about your drug use: Just about every college in the country has to deal with drug abuse on campus. Most people who work on campus have been witness to students' lives be ruined by drug use. If you have a history or issue with drugs, your college essay is not the best place to bring it up.

Writing about your sex life: Writing about your sex life will quickly categorize you as someone who gives way too much information, and in this case it isn't a good thing. Never choose to write on a topic that might embarrass your reader. Additionally, the admissions officers probably don't care about your sexual activities.

Writing about your time in jail: There are lots of successful students that have run into trouble with the law. Minor offenses are actually quite common amongst teenagers in the country. But it's still not something you want to draw attention to in your application essay. Safety on campus is one of the most important things that admissions officers have in the back of their minds as they review essays. Any indication that you might bring unwanted concerns onto their campus is a red flag.

Writing about your heroic acts: This is tricky. If you have a single great experience of heroism then this could be a really good topic. But most often people think small "good" acts like community service or sport achievements are considered heroic, when they really just paint you as self-absorbed and arrogant.

Writing about a traumatic event: Writing is considered great personal therapy for people who have experienced a traumatic life event, but you don't want your application essay to be self-analysis or your pain and suffering. Don't bring up uncomfortable events of any kind. You don't want your reader to squirm nervously when they are reading about your experiences.

Writing about your travels: Travel can sometimes lead to life-altering experiences that you think would make for a great application essay. But travel experience writing is way too common in applications and has become a bit boring. An analysis of a specific moment in your travels makes for a better essay.

Making excuses: If you had couple of bad semesters in school, it might be tempting to use your application essay as a way to explain your low grades. Don't. Admissions officers don't want to hear about your parents' divorce or the death of a relative. Have a guidance counselor explain your bad semester, but don't use your essay.

This are just a few of the general topics you should try to avoid on your application essay. There are exceptions, of course, so just use the list as a guide. If you do end up covering one of the topics in this list, make sure that you do it in a unique and interesting way that highlights your strengths and allows your personality to shine through.