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bad essays...

marshmelo228marshmelo228 Posts: 24Registered User New Member
edited November 2011 in College Admissions
How much will bad essays affect my chances of getting into an ivy league? My stats are average for an ivy applicant (2300 SAT, 4.0 GPA, double varsity athlete, president of clubs, started volunteer group, etc.) but I am struggling with writing solid essays. Does it matter a lot?
Post edited by marshmelo228 on

Replies to: bad essays...

  • anu1995anu1995 Posts: 195Registered User Junior Member
    i'm hoping that in the context of everything else, and with the millions of essays they read, it wont be that big of a deal... i dont know...but basically, i was told that an adcom would spend about 2 minutes reading your essay and you have to make your case in that moment....so yeah...i dont like writing about myself either...:/
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,658Registered User Senior Member
    Essays can help you stand out, it's your time to shine. You should read some of the essay books recommended (do a Search on this or the Essay forum) or check out the UVA essay guide:

    Essays, Admission Information, Undergraduate Admission, U.Va.

    Remember, the subject doesn't have to be earth shattering or profound, what's important is how it's written and what it says about you--how you think and view the world.
  • marshmelo228marshmelo228 Posts: 24Registered User New Member
    I've read essay books and endless advice on how to write them--yet I can't seem to write one that I am completely satisfied with. I'm not really worried about the subject. The issue that seems to be frustrating me is showing who I am and being original. All my essays tend to turn out "cheesy." I sound like I'm trying too hard, and I want to make my essays sound more natural and sincere. People have told me to "just do it," but it's not that easy :/
  • OhioMom2OhioMom2 Posts: 639Registered User Member
    Your essays will be critical with your stats. :/ And remember just be yourself and write in your own voice. :)
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Posts: 12,009Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, a bad essay is a turn-off. The problem isn't always that it's bad, as much as that you thought it was good enough to send- that can get a squint about your judgment.

    Toss aside those books you read. Pick some turning point you can genuinely write about and remember "show not tell." Adcoms are looking for signs of your maturity, perspective and self-awareness- and some sense you can evolve. For many kids, it helps to to scrap the topic that ends up cheesy and start fresh. Remember, it's not a hs essay. Often, it helps to think of it as writing about something to a trusted friend, relative or mentor. Take a walk, clear your mind and try again.
  • slon02slon02 Posts: 198Registered User Junior Member
    If your essays are bad, they won't help you stand out (or worse- you'll stand out negatively). If you don't stand out, there's no way of telling you apart from the thousands of other applicants, and that nudges your application closer and closer to the shredder.
  • jdlacejdlace Posts: 452Registered User Member
    yes. That's the only thing they can reject otherwise perfect applicants based on
  • T26E4T26E4 Posts: 16,938Registered User Senior Member
    "That's the only thing they can reject otherwise perfect applicants based on" Uhhhh no.

    There's a huge no. of things they can reject these "perfect" applicants. Maybe they've already admitted 15 of this type and don't need another 15.

    But to the OP, if essays aren't your forte, it's not the end of the world that top colleges may not take you.
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