CRUSH the Common Application Essay! 8 Tips.

hey guys it's Brooklyn super tutor TV

are you applying to college soon and

maybe you've got the summer ahead of you

and you're thinking goodness what am I

going to write my college essay about if

that's you this video is totally for you

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still working on them so let's get into

this eight tips for common FSA some of

us might repeat with some of the things

that are in some of my other essay

videos here and there because I wanted

this to be comprehensive but hopefully

I'll get a little bit of a different

spin on things so that you still feel

like this is valuable information I

think this is a great list for you to

take and use when you're trying to

brainstorm okay tip number one avoid

cliches Cheeseman stories

when you're trying to brainstorm what

kind of topics are going to work well

for common application essay one of the

biggest mistakes that I see students

particularly those who come from an

international background and

particularly I work with a lot of

students from China in fact on their

essays and these students one of the

biggest things that I see from them is

that they write in this very predictable

style and they have a story that's a

success story and they aren't vulnerable

at all and the classic one is that I got

in a paper which I know I talked about

in college essays that suck that's not a

very interesting story it doesn't mean

you can't write about achievement but if

you do write about it that shouldn't be

the arc of the story you've got to find

an interesting angle or something to say

or an interesting perspective maybe you

can talk about achievement and racism at

the same time maybe you can talk about

achievement and bullying maybe you can

put your finger on the pulse of a debate

that's going on in the world around us

and intersect that with whatever you

achieved and create something much more

interesting in any case avoid that

cliche we're super predictable story and

I think you're gonna be in a better

place let's talk about tip number two

preview our human being so one of the

biggest things that you're trying to

achieve with your college essay is to

show schools' who you are as a human

being that means your emotions you have

friends you have feelings you have

thoughts right you have all these things

colleges are not looking for academic

automatons that get everything perfect

and that never make mistakes they're

looking for people and so I really want

whatever you write about to have a mark

of your individual voice I want to like

you and I want to think by the time I

finished reading your essay man I'd like

to have lunch with you at the dining

hall if you come to my University cuz

you seem like a cool person so that's

tip number two prove you are a human


prove that you have a soul prove that

you have emotions and values and all

that kind of good stuff and make sure

that that emanates they're not just

looking for scholars they're looking for

people so remember that tip number three

don't repeat anything when it comes to

essay topics

if you've ever been to a Stanford

admissions panel this is the number one

thing they say before I started coaching

people in college admissions for a short

time after I graduated from Stanford I

was a volunteer at like college fairs

and one of the things that they told us

in our training session over and over

and over again was don't repeat tell

kids don't repeat on their essays so

this is one of the cardinal rules

especially if you're applying to a top

college but try not to repeat the same

topics over and over again if you have

multiple athletes you're working on if

you're going to write about how you're

the best baseball player ever in your

common application essay that's probably

not the best topic for your supplemental

essays make sure you don't repeat

yourself and your essays are going to be

stronger because you're going to be able

to show different facets of who you are

tip number four tell a story and get

specific one of the most powerful tools

that we have when we're writing college

essays is story story story narrative is

a powerful thing that's why we love

television that's why we love movies

because we love how stories open us up

and help us connect with people who come

from a different background one of the

things that's important is that you are

relatable even though you might

represent diversity in some way you want

the person reading your essay to feel a

connection with you and stories are a

great way to do that so make sure in

your college essay that in some way you

invoke the power of story or narrative

the other thing that I'll say is as you

tell your story make sure your story is

specific when I say tell a story I don't

mean say last week I had an issue with

someone at school and it made me very

frustrated and I don't know why I was

frustrated but I thought about it some

and I reflected on it and then I figured

it out and now I feel much better I

don't know anything about you from that

story right that's so vague you don't

want to write something so distance

because you're so afraid of sharing

personal details and it's uncomfortable

and I know you don't like it and I agree

it's not always comfortable a lot of you

don't like to share personal details but

at the same time if you're not specific

you're not going to be memorable and you

want to be the story that that

admissions officer remembers you want to

be the person who keeps them awake at

night and they think gosh that person

has to come to our University tip number

five find a balance between reflection

interpretation and narrative

in addition to story you also have to

reflect on the story you can't just tell

a story and not interpret that story you

have to have a perspective you have to

show that you have a point of view and

you learn something from it you have to

show that you've got a little bit of

maturity and that you figured some

things out about yourself from this

story and you've got to find a balance

in that kind of analytical self

reflective information and the story

information just make sure you've got

both pieces and you use them in a way

that's balanced tip number six read some

examples one of the biggest things that

I like to do with my students as we go

through this process of college

admissions essays is have them read

examples there's lots of different

places that you can read examples online

and we'll put some links to examples in

the blog post that goes with this

particular video so in terms of reading

examples I find that if you can see what

other students wrote that can give you

some insights into how to crack this or

how to make something powerful and you

can kind of see what essays works so you

can wrap your brain around this whole

process I know it's really hard to write

college Isis because it's a task you've

never had to do before so read some

examples and you're going to be in a

much better position to figure out how

to put your best foot forward and show

your voice in your essay tip number

seven is craft a great opening line it's

the first thing people read you always

want to have a hook so that's a good tip

make sure that you have a hook or

something interesting at the beginning

of your essay you want that to grab

people you want it to be interesting

sometimes giving your essay to other

people to read is a great way to try to

get feedback on what's most interesting

in your essay and then sometimes I'll

just move it right up to the top

oftentimes too when I'm working with

students I'll read into their essay on

their first draft and I'll end up

cutting like the first paragraph we just

ditch it completely because there's a

really interesting line down here and

boom that's my open so that's often

something that I do with students I make

them throw away like the first half of

their paragraph and we find that

interesting little nugget and that's our

opening so make sure you have a good

opening line and my tip number eight is

be yourself and what do you mean might

be yourself and I know this is like

cheesy sounding but the idea is don't

try too hard and don't try to write what

you think colleges want to hear that can

be a serious misstep because it's really

easy to sniff out in sincerity and if

you sound insincere in your essays it's

hard for me to root for you it's hard

for me to think that when I have so many

qualified candidates you're the person

who I want to

when you sound insincere you want

yourself and all of the awesomeness that

you are to shine and you want to unlock

that super awesome version of yourself

on the page so remember this isn't just

about what they want to hear it's about

who you are and what you have to offer

if you can be creative if you can have a

voice if you can sound like an

interesting person and you can stay true

to who you are and what you are

passionate about that's going to come

off more genuine and more persuasive

than you trying to pretend to be someone

who you're not so that's about it for

today I hope you guys like these tips if

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haven't already we have a lots more tips

on the college admission process so go

check those out as well I hope you guys

like this I will see you next time ciao

for now