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How to Get Into the College of Your Choice… Maybe.

by Allie Vanstone, Mirror Staff

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I’m no college admissions professional, but I am a senior in high school which is basically the same thing.

I’ve spent the past two months writing personal narratives and explaining what unique contributions I will bring to the university classrooms and campus.

The first application I ever filled out, I was experiencing severe writer’s block and I spent a lot of time staring at the prompt trying to figure out just what the university wanted to hear.

Google, for once, didn’t have the answers I needed, so I turned to my well educated, very annoyingly smart egotistical lawyer of a brother and asked him how I should answer.

Although I hated having to ask him for help, I got some great advice. So here I am. Helping you.

NEVER EVER allow your personal narratives to turn into a sob story. We all go through tough times, and if the event shaped you and turned you into the person you are today, mention it, but only briefly.

Don’t shape your entire essay around that event. The admissions advisors will not feel bad for you, since they aren’t looking for unfortunate students to admit into their school, they’re looking for strong students who are made better by rough situations.


A good personal narrative is brief and concise, not flowery and overwrought.

It’s not a story, it’s an essay that answers the prompt given.

Big words used in the wrong context do not make you look smart, either.

Admissions advisors know they’re reading the work of a 17 year old, and they can sense when a student is trying too hard. So use words in the proper context, and don’t be afraid to make it simple.

Another thing to think about is not submitting your freshly written essay right away.

Don’t submit an essay right when you finish typing it, instead go back the next day and edit it and read over it to check for errors. Spend at least two days, then feel confident in submitting it.

You are never going to be happy with your essay. It’s as simple as that. You can read it again and again and you will never be completely happy with your work, but going over it more than once will be something you’re glad you did.

Once you submit your application, don’t think about all the mistakes you possibly made throughout your application. If you looked over it the day after you finished it, chances are, the mistakes weren’t made.

Colleges ask for a personal essay to see beyond the numbers and test scores, they want to see you. So be you.

You’ve got this.


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Journalism: Coldwater High School
How to Get Into the College of Your Choice… Maybe.