Let Aunt Rose Write Her Own Essay

Tomorrow I get to tell the Aunt Rose story; I can’t wait.

I plan to tell 25+ college-bound kids during a college conference what I keep hearing from college admission counselors from universities throughout the country: they want to hear your story, not the story of Aunt Rose, no matter what great feat she accomplished.

All too often, students craft essays about people they admire without writing about themselves. Your essay, no matter what question you answer on a college application, is a story about you. Remember that while you are writing. This is your opportunity to shine.

You are not supposed to write about Aunt Rose, your favorite book or the time you volunteered at a camp for special needs kids. But you should write about how your special person or an experience helped shaped you, what you gained from it, and why it matters to you.

It is nice if Aunt Rose saved five young children from a burning house or won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But what does that have to do with you? Were you one of the kids she saved? Are you a volunteer firefighter because of this experience?  If not, let Aunt Rose apply for her own admission. She might even get a scholarship for her heroic acts.

This is your journey. Make the essay your story. Let your voice shine through. Admissions committees want to know who you are, in the words of a 17-year-old, in your own voice. Think you need a little help? Check out the Wow schedule to register for a Wow them with Your College Essay workshop.