4 Reasons Why You Should Get Help With Your College Application Essay
You’ve done all you need to in four years of high school – getting good grades, lining up extracurriculars, taking the requisite SAT and/or ACT – so you’re feeling pretty good as you start filling out your college application. But there’s one thing you weren’t anticipating: writing a personal essay is really hard. You feel you can’t do this alone and want some assistance. But wait! Is it OK to get help with your college application essay?
Maybe English was never your strongest subject, or maybe you’re just not that skilled in writing about yourself yet. For every other aspect of your college applications, there’s a clear path for preparation. But when it comes to writing a college application essay that stands out amongst hundreds of others—which is becoming increasingly important to admissions officers—you may find that daunting.
What should you do? We recommend that if at all possible, you should get some quality help for making sure you write your best possible essay. Here’s why.
Get Ethical Help
Many students get tutoring in various subjects at various points in their school year, and go through SAT and ACT prep classes so they can do better in them. They do this because schools may not have done a good enough job of preparing every student for these tasks. And schools often do not have the resources to help every student become proficient in writing a compelling personal statement. So why is it a problem to get help with your college application essay?
It is because some people resort to having someone else write their essay. That is patently dishonest, as would be having someone else take your SAT/ACT exams. Colleges want to hear what you have to say, and you are doing yourself a disservice by having someone else write it. Have the courage to tackle your personal essay yourself, but feel comfortable that it is ethical to get some guidance in doing it right.
A Coach Can Show You The Way
Even for adults, learning to write about yourself—and write well—may take years of practice. You have to write from a place of authenticity while still making your story accessible to the audience—why should they care about what you have to say? What makes your point of view unique?
An experienced writing coach can help. Not only will they have knowledge about writing personal narratives for public audiences, they will also be able to help target it to the college application. They’ll be able to help you write a good story that fits within the limits imposed by your specific applications, such as word count and subject matter.
Quality Feedback Improves All Of Your Writing
Parents, teachers and other trusted adults are often good people you can ask to read your personal essay. However, they won’t be able to give the objective, unbiased opinion you’d want for something as important as a college application. An outside review would help you understand how someone who doesn’t know you personally would react to your essay.
Depending on how you get your feedback and whom you get it from, getting help with your personal statement can also improve your writing in the long run. You’ll receive personalized feedback and can apply it to anything you write in the future. The techniques for good writing that you learn with a high-quality writing tutor are especially helpful for students who don’t write as frequently.
Reduces The Stress Of Perfecting Your Writing
There are many aspects to consider in writing an effective personal statement, from picking the right story to match your prompt, to using the right voice to provide the maximum impact to the reader. Making sure you hit every point correctly and make your essay compelling to read may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Be kind to yourself. Submitting the college application is a nerve-wracking experience, so take every opportunity you can get to reduce your stress and anxiety. It is a big relief and confidence booster to have someone help you pull it all together.
Of course you have to find the right kind of help for you: based on where you are in the process and your own needs and preferences. Step 1 is making the decision to get help in writing your essay, Step 2 is finding the help you need. Look for our next post on this topic!