Let me tell you something, my friends. I’ve always believed that writing a college admissions essay can be a total game-changer for students. It’s like a magical journey of self-discovery, where you uncover your deepest reflections, embrace your true self, and show the world who you really are when it comes time to apply for college.๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ“š

Self-reflection is not easy when you are 17, but if you work hard, you can learn a lot about yourself and put your best voice forward in your personal statement, college essay, and personal essay-all the same thing.

Last year, we had this amazing student who had some strong emotions about not having a father figure in her life. She felt pressure, even in kindergarten, to make up stories about her dad being overseas or in the CIA. But through the process of writing her college essay, something incredible happened. She began to understand her feelings better and realized she had some lingering resentment towards her mom for her unconventional upbringing. ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿค”

But here’s where it gets beautiful. As the student worked on her essay, she started appreciating her mom in a whole new light. She saw the strength and bravery it took for her mom to raise two kids on her own, without a husband or partner. Their relationship grew stronger as they began to understand and support each other as women. It was a powerful journey of self-discovery, and it caught the attention of admissions officers too. This student was accepted into every school she applied to. Isn’t that amazing? ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŽ‰

Now, as someone who’s been in the game for over 5 years, reading, editing, and evaluating countless essays, let me drop a truth bomb on you. The best essays are not the ones that are all fancy and flawlessly written. No, no! The real gems are essays that shine with authenticity and heart. They’re the ones that make you feel something deep down in your soul. ๐Ÿ’–

So, let’s talk about this newfangled thing called ChatGPT. It’s like the superhero of artificial intelligence web apps, answering questions and spitting out essays in no time. Tech experts are going wild over it, calling it the most mind-blowing chatbot ever to hit the scene. ๐Ÿค–๐Ÿ’ฌ

But hold up, not everyone’s jumping on the ChatGPT bandwagon. Some folks worry that students will start using it to dodge the writing process and breeze through their assignments. They’re concerned about plagiarism and academic dishonesty, so they’re banning ChatGPT left and right in schools and colleges across the land. Rumor has it, colleges might even scrap the essay requirement because of it. But hey, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธโœ๏ธ Being able to express yourself is a necessity in life and I think that the chatbot is a bit generic. You can tell when an essay is a skeleton vs a thoughtful piece.

Ask any admissions officer who loves their gig, and they’ll tell you that the college essay is a window to the student. It should have that personal touch, But here’s the deal, the essays I’ve seen from ChatGPT lack that raw, vulnerable vibe that comes straight from a teenager trying to figure out life in their own honest, imperfect way. Sure, ChatGPT’s got the structure down, but it’s missing that spark of a young soul baring it all on paper. ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ’ฅ

Trust me, any college admissions pro can spot the difference from a mile away. ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ”ฅ

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not oblivious to the future. I know ChatGPT or its competitors might perfect writing someday. But here’s the thing: the college essay isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s a chance for colleges to hear directly from you, about your perfectly imperfect life. It’s like your own personal mic drop moment, sharing your story in your own words. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ๐ŸŒŸ

So here’s my challenge to all you awesome students out there: embrace the college essay! Seriously, it’s a journey of self-discovery like no other. Even if you’re not a big fan of writing, even if English isn’t your first language, even if you feel a bit shy about talking about yourselfโ€”trust me, this is your chance to shine.

Come and practice at our in-person essay clinics on June 17, 18, 23, and 25 at 10:30 am in Millersville, MD.

There will be some pre-work and loads of interaction!


If you have written an essay in school, bring it along! We find that English teachers have different ideas about what the college admissions offices want to hear. We talk with hundreds of AOs each year and we can help you go from good to great!