Five Tips On How To Stay Away From Overused College Essay Topics

When writing the college essay you should take advantage of the chance to separate yourself from the thousands of other applicants trying to get into the same school. It’s easiest to leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee and improve your chances of getting accepted by staying away from overused topics. Here are five tips on how to do just that:

Tip #1: The Family History by Way of Profession

A lot of students make the mistake of writing about their family’s professional history and how it has affected them and encouraged them to pursue the same dreams. For instance, a student will mention that both his parents are doctors and that he too wants to help improve the lives of others through medicine. While this may be true it often is highly repetitive and is written on a lot by hundreds, especially when a school has a particularly good program.

Tip #2: Your Desire to Help Others through Service

Another common college essay topic to avoid is on your desire to help others through a community service experience. A lot of students volunteer their time in high school to do community service work then turn around to write about it. Again, this is seen too often. A better choice would be to write about something challenging you may have experienced during that community service that you have overcome.

Tip #3: Overcoming a Common Athletic Injury

Student athletes love talking about their on and off the field struggles, especially when it comes to overcoming an injury. Unfortunately, ankle sprains, dislocated shoulders, and bone breaks happen more often than you realize. And the outcome is usually the same in each case: a student eventually heals and is able to return to the field or court in a triumph. A better story would be one in which you have to give up sports entirely.

Tip #4: Your Family’s Yearly Vacation Abroad

Another common mistake is to write about your family vacation abroad. This may be an exciting experience for some but it often just becomes on of hundred travel diaries to well-known places. Vacations are a dime a dozen, but say if you were to write about doing volunteer work in a third world country your application will be ten times as interesting.

Tip #5: Describing the Impact a Natural Disaster Had

Finally, don’t simply restate what others may know in the form of describing the impact a natural disaster had on you and the way you think. While these are often well-meaning they sound similar to what anyone would say about wanting to help others in a time of need. A better approach would be to describe a unique solution you have and stick with the potential it can have in saving lives.

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