First semester senior year is full of stress and pressure. It’s hard to figure out how you’ll present yourself to colleges because you need to make yourself sound like an impressive applicant.
Everyone seems to have a ton of prestigious accomplishments to put on their applications, so you feel like you have to compete with them so that you too will seem accomplished and therefore a worthy admit.
But at the end of the day, the students who send lists and lists of awards and achievements don’t come off as genuine. As corny as it is, the advice “just be yourself” will actually take you far when it comes to college applications. It’s important that you don’t blend in with the crowd, so you need to be honest about who you are in order to stand out. Make sure your essays genuinely reflect you and not who you think colleges want you to be. Admissions officers will be able to tell when you’re being fake and when you’re showing your true self.
Lots of students think they know what colleges want to hear, and so they sell themselves as the perfect applicant. But many applicants tend to say the same generic things in order to get accepted, so all of their essays tend to blend together. They seem the same as everyone else.
So tell your unique story. And if a school rejects you after you’ve honestly shown them who you are? It probably wouldn’t have been a good fit anyway.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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