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TipsforCollegeApplicationsandCommonAppEssays!

anaisrivero99
anaisrivero99 President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist
2y Miami, FL, United States Conversation

As my senior year rapidly approaches I can already feel anxiety churning in my gut. Any tips about the college application process, especially essay writing, will be appreciated!

6 replies

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  • V
    2y ago New York, NY, United States

    I took a course about the college essay application, and it helped SO much. My main take-aways: Topic! 


    - I would steer away from any topic that seems repetitive or generic (meaning, colleges receive TONS of essays with this type of topic) ie: dead grandparent, dead pet, moving, surgery or similar setbacks etc. 
    - Pick something unique and not obvious - what makes you different? It could be a hobby, a POV, a quirk, a strange incident that stuck with you for some reason. Get deep and introspective! 
    - I wrote my application essay for NYU about cake (right?). But when I was in high school, I LOVED those cake decorating shows, and made the comparison of the ornate creations from those shows v the tinfoil wrapped funfetti cake I would make for my friends' birthdays or random occasions; the thoughtfulness and love behind it was still the same. At the time, this was a unique POV and hobby I had. 
    - I would ask a favorite teacher for their help/input as well, especially with the editing process 

    I took a course about the college essay application, and it helped SO much. My main take-aways: Topic! 


    - I would steer away from any topic that seems repetitive or generic (meaning, colleges receive TONS of essays with this type of topic) ie: dead grandparent, dead pet, moving, surgery or similar setbacks etc. 
    - Pick something unique and not obvious - what makes you different? It could be a hobby, a POV, a quirk, a strange incident that stuck with you for some reason. Get deep and introspective! 
    - I wrote my application essay for NYU about cake (right?). But when I was in high school, I LOVED those cake decorating shows, and made the comparison of the ornate creations from those shows v the tinfoil wrapped funfetti cake I would make for my friends' birthdays or random occasions; the thoughtfulness and love behind it was still the same. At the time, this was a unique POV and hobby I had. 
    - I would ask a favorite teacher for their help/input as well, especially with the editing process 

    • Lauren D.
      Lauren D. Creative production student, certified dog enthusiast and Jedi knight.
      2y ago New York, NY, United States

      Totally agree with all of these tips- just another common topic to stay away from his volunteer trips. Like what Virginia said, the topic can be small or seem non-essential, but its your passion, experience and writing that will make it stand out and really show who you are as a person. For my essay, I wrote about how I felt as a female in a history class; both in terms of participation (how female voices in class rooms are often drowned out by men) and I also talked about how we learn about history through the lens of the men. It should be fun to write, and you should have a lot to say about it. That's how you'll know its representative of you, and will be interesting to who ever will end up reading your essay. 


      In terms of just generally applying to college: To help in choosing what colleges to apply to, maybe make some sort of chart of must-haves for your 'dream' school and go through your potential college list and see which colleges have what you are looking for, what misses the mark, and what comes close. But make sure to think about location, finances, as well as general school social sphere (Ex. don't go to NYU if you are hoping to attend student sports games). And try reaching out to people who already go to the school if you have questions (Mogul is a great place for this!!!!!!). 

      I would also suggest making a simple schedule so you can do a little bit every night, or every other night, and the tasks wont seem as daunting. One night write an outline for your essay of points you want to talk about, then the next night flesh out one of those points, and so on. Do it while listening to fun music!! Please don't be scared. Everyone goes through this process and I guarantee a university somewhere would love you have you. If you need anymore advice feel free to message me!!! :)

      Totally agree with all of these tips- just another common topic to stay away from his volunteer trips. Like what Virginia said, the topic can be small or seem non-essential, but its your passion, experience and writing that will make it stand out and really show who you are as a person. For my essay, I wrote about how I felt as a female in a history class; both in terms of participation (how female voices in class rooms are often drowned out by men) and I also talked about how we learn about history through the lens of the men. It should be fun to write, and you should have a lot to say about it. That's how you'll know its representative of you, and will be interesting to who ever will end up reading your essay. 


      In terms of just generally applying to college: To help in choosing what colleges to apply to, maybe make some sort of chart of must-haves for your 'dream' school and go through your potential college list and see which colleges have what you are looking for, what misses the mark, and what comes close. But make sure to think about location, finances, as well as general school social sphere (Ex. don't go to NYU if you are hoping to attend student sports games). And try reaching out to people who already go to the school if you have questions (Mogul is a great place for this!!!!!!). 

      I would also suggest making a simple schedule so you can do a little bit every night, or every other night, and the tasks wont seem as daunting. One night write an outline for your essay of points you want to talk about, then the next night flesh out one of those points, and so on. Do it while listening to fun music!! Please don't be scared. Everyone goes through this process and I guarantee a university somewhere would love you have you. If you need anymore advice feel free to message me!!! :)

      • anaisrivero99
        anaisrivero99 President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist
        2y ago Miami, FL, United States

        Thanks so much! Your essay topic about history was awesome!  I am very passionate about feminism and other forms of social justice but I don't want the admissions officers to think I'm just saying that to seem "different" I want to seem genuine and make the essay personal to me. Any advice? 

        Thanks so much! Your essay topic about history was awesome!  I am very passionate about feminism and other forms of social justice but I don't want the admissions officers to think I'm just saying that to seem "different" I want to seem genuine and make the essay personal to me. Any advice? 

        • Lauren D.
          Lauren D. Creative production student, certified dog enthusiast and Jedi knight.
          2y ago New York, NY, United States

          I would say to make sure to include action you have taken, and not just passive support. For mine, I talked about how I met with my history teacher to discuss the topic and to make changes to myself (to feel more confident) and in the way the class operates. So instead of just saying I support feminism because, say I support feminism and here is how I did/do it. That way it's also easier to include some of your accomplishments. You are now speaking personally and not generally. Just keep in mind: Yes feminism is important, but why is it important to you? Why are you writing about this topic? How can you bring a unique perspective to the topic?  If you handed this essay to someone would they learn something new and find it interesting? College admissions read tons of essays everyday. Think about ways to catch their eye, or to make your essay stand out so you are not just another girl who supports women's rights in the pile. but i'm NOT an expert in college admission essays so maybe also talk to your teachers/parents/peers to see what they think, or run some topics by them to see if they find it interesting. If majority of people you talk to find your ideas interesting, chances are a college admissions employee will find it interesting as well.

          I would say to make sure to include action you have taken, and not just passive support. For mine, I talked about how I met with my history teacher to discuss the topic and to make changes to myself (to feel more confident) and in the way the class operates. So instead of just saying I support feminism because, say I support feminism and here is how I did/do it. That way it's also easier to include some of your accomplishments. You are now speaking personally and not generally. Just keep in mind: Yes feminism is important, but why is it important to you? Why are you writing about this topic? How can you bring a unique perspective to the topic?  If you handed this essay to someone would they learn something new and find it interesting? College admissions read tons of essays everyday. Think about ways to catch their eye, or to make your essay stand out so you are not just another girl who supports women's rights in the pile. but i'm NOT an expert in college admission essays so maybe also talk to your teachers/parents/peers to see what they think, or run some topics by them to see if they find it interesting. If majority of people you talk to find your ideas interesting, chances are a college admissions employee will find it interesting as well.

  • Danica
    2y ago

    Definitely apply for one safety school (a school you feel you can definitely get into) and one dream school. I applied for 6 schools because the fees were high so I had to budget wisely. I also applied for schools I knew I would garner a lot of scholarship money from.

    Definitely apply for one safety school (a school you feel you can definitely get into) and one dream school. I applied for 6 schools because the fees were high so I had to budget wisely. I also applied for schools I knew I would garner a lot of scholarship money from.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    2y ago New York, NY, United States

    Focus on topics in which you are passionate for essays!

    Focus on topics in which you are passionate for essays!


anaisrivero99
President of Mogul MAST Academy and Journalist

I am an incoming senior at MAST Academy, a writer, and an activist. Besides binge watching Netflix shows and anime, I try to make my writing a catalyst for change and hope to continue helping others through my volunteer work.

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