There’s no doubt about it - getting into college is super competitive. Within that competition, however, are a lot of expectations that simply just aren’t true. Here’s our list of the top 5 things people think they have to do when writing a college essay and what they really should do.

Myth Number 1: “I have to write the greatest essay in the world.”

Most people think that they have to write the Iliad or the Odyssey to gain acceptance into the school of their dreams. Everyone wants to write something that shows all the wonderful things they've done for the world so far. But what most people don't realize is that when they write in that manner, they tend to overindulge and exaggerate. Admissions offices can read right through that. The best thing you can do when writing your essay is to be authentic. The truth sounds a lot better than you think it might.

Myth Number 2: “I can't be creative.”

Surely you have a lot of college applications to write and pay for, however, that doesn't mean you can't add a little personal flair to each. One of my friend's sent in a personal video with her application that featured her accomplishments and that won the admissions office over. It doesn't have to be a great video but make sure your personality shines through.

Myth Number 3: “I shouldn't apply because college applications are expensive.”

Much like scholarships, there is money out there to submit college applications. Email the admissions office, fill out forms to make your college applications free. The process may seem stifling but when it comes to your college education, even a simple phone call to admissions to ask if you can get your fee waived is worth it.

Myth Number 4: “I can wait until tomorrow.”

Do it now. Get the ball rolling on your application. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around but starting with small feats each day will help you in the long run. Oh, you're one of those people who comes in and writes something awesome at the last minute? The truth is that your brain works better when you exercise it repeatedly. It will make that ‘awesome’ a habit instead of something that happens only when you’re under pressure. Prioritize consistency over the grandiose last minute essays. It will help you now and later in life, especially when it comes to studying for those college exams.

Myth Number 5: “I have to know what I want to study.”

Many people tend to think that they have to know exactly what major or field they want to be in. Granted, if you know this information that’s great. However, it doesn’t make or break your ability to write a powerhouse college application essay. Not knowing what you want to do is okay, you can figure it out in college. When you write, consider what types of things you love to explore (philosophy, athletics, etc.) which will give better insight into who you can grow into while in college instead of who you are at the moment. 


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