How to Write a School Essay

school essay

Writing an essay about your high school experiences can be difficult. Whether the topic is controversial or not, you need to know how to present your ideas clearly and concisely. In addition to describing the good and bad aspects of your experience, you need to explain how this experience will shape you as a person moving forward.

If you’re not sure how to write a school essay, here are five tips that will help you leave a lasting impression on admissions officers.

Avoid general cliches and superlatives. Admissions officers will recognize these phrases as uninspired and clichéd. Aim for a tone that is authentic and passionate without being overbearing or arrogant.

Make uncommon connections. This is one of the most important things you can do to stand out from other applicants. Too many students write generic essays about how they want to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers. By making your essay more unique, you will be able to show that your interests align with the college’s offerings.

Describe how the college fits your goals and personality. Admissions officers are looking for a well-rounded applicant, and they will appreciate an essay that shows your interest in the institution. For example, if you’re applying to a university that offers an engineering program, mention how you have already taken courses related to it or how the program will allow you to pursue your passions.

Don’t use slang or overused phrases in your school essay. This can sound cheesy and turn off your reader. Also, be careful not to over-do it on the compliments. Admissions officers will see through this and think that you’re trying to impress them with your ego.

Include a moment of realization in your essay. Admissions officers look for essays that highlight a student’s growth and introspection. Make sure that if you’re talking about a challenging experience that you also address how this experience has affected your perspective on life.

Keep your essay focused on your own experiences. This is important because admissions officers want to see how you will fit into their school culture and community. Don’t write about how you want to change the world or that you have a “huge purpose.”

Start early. Students should begin working on their school essay the summer before senior year so that they have plenty of time to revise. This will also give students the opportunity to work through several drafts before college application deadlines. Those deadlines can be as early as November for students applying to schools through the Common App or other application systems. Students should check the school’s website for specific essay requirements, such as word limits and essay topics. Some colleges also ask students to specifically respond to a prompt, such as “Why this university?” or “What makes this university special?”. If so, students should review the prompt carefully and follow the directions. They should also reach out to the admissions office if they have any questions about the essay requirement.