Dear Juniors

Dear Juniors

Riley Hawkins, Staff Writer

With the graduation is the class of 2020 comes the fact that the next senior class is on the rise. This means the college application process is starting yet again. The college essay can be curcial to one’s admittance or denial from dream universities, so here are some tips and tricks from one senior to the up and coming.

Try to keep things unique. For example, you want to write about your favorite holiday. Well, bad news, everyone has a favorite holiday. Keep things spicy, and instead write about how on one Easter morning you ran through a screen door because you were so excited for the Easter egg hunt and that started your love for pediatric surgery. Help the colleges see where you passion stems from and how that shaped you even as you still have screen door stuck to your face.

Everyone has the classic “injury story.” A sprained ankle, a broken bone, etc. Trust me, colleges have heard all about it. I myself wanted to write bout how I broke my ankle in the bathroom before my track meet even started, but I was advised not to because apparently even that story is a little overdone. But perhaps you had a minimally invasive brain surgery. Green light, write about it. That is a unique experience, and a solid ice breaker.

Oh you like baking? Well so does everyone else on the planet. But maybe you tried to make the Disneyland Churros and got second degree oil burns on both your arms and the fire department showed up and laughed in your face. Write about it. Colleges love hearing about humbling experiences because they force you to persevere in times of discouraging, and who doesn’t love a good laugh.

You could go the sentimental route and write about a childhood experience that completely changed how you view the world, but make sure it’s unique to you and you only. This essay is a brief introduction to every college you apply to, so you want to make it as unique as possible. Everyone had a childhood, but not everyone had your childhood.

Try not to tell a story the entire time. Maybe stick to the intro, and elaborate on how that certain event or thing had a lasting effect on you, how it changed you, and what qualities you now posses because of it. If you can, try and elaborate on how the event showed you either your favorite quality about yourself, or what you want to major in and eventually pursue as a career one day.

The college application process can be very, very stressful. In the months to come, don’t be afraid to reach out for help or advice. A peer edit goes a long way, and so does washing your hands. Stay safe.