Things to stay away from when writing college application essay

It's time for you to sit down and write that college application essay, but you're having a hard time determining what you should talk about. Many students don't realize that there are some topics that you should steer clear of when you are writing a college essay. Here are some of the most common topics that you may be tempted to write about, but you really should stay away from.

  • Accomplishments. This is one of the biggest mistakes that students make. Yes, you've done a lot of great things, but you don't need to list them out in your essay. There are other parts of the application that cover that. This includes any accomplishments that you've had in the sports world as well.
  • Bragging about affluence. "I've been so lucky" or "I am so blessed" essays are a huge turnoff to college admission officials. No one really cares about your annual trip to Europe. Money shouldn't be getting you into a school. Sure that means that your family can pay for your schooling, but that's not what matters at all; it's your intellect that matters.
  • "Hot topics." Nothing good ever comes out of politics, religion, drug use, arrest, jail time, or sexual activities. Don't ever, ever talk about any of these topics because they can cause very negative emotions. Even though admissions officials are supposed to keep their feelings out of it, but if you talk about these topics, it will be difficult for them to do so.
  • Tragedies and other "life changing experiences." This is another place that people tend to go with their college essays. They'll tell about community service or going on a trip where they helped those less fortunate. These are good things, and sometimes you can get away with it, as long as you focus on a particular experience (not the whole entire trip).

Tragedies are another big topic that people decide to go with; it's not so much that they're a bad topic, but they're really hard to write about well. If you think you can do it well, go for it.

Don't be mistaken - a brief mention of these topics is not going to affect you negatively, but focusing your entire essay on one of these topics isn't going to get your essay noticed by the admissions personnel. Instead, steer away from these topics and find another way to infuse your thoughts and personality into the entrance essay. Good luck!