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How can you write an interesting essay when you have nothing to write?

screenname720screenname720 3 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I don't think I've lived an interesting life, and I don't think I have anything good to write. Tips?
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Replies to: How can you write an interesting essay when you have nothing to write?

  • screenname720screenname720 3 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We all know that an angle/spike will help tremendously when getting into a college. But how can you make one if you don't have a lot of experiences to back it up? I come from a school that encourages more exploration and well-roundedness.
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  • happy1happy1 22664 replies2225 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    You can't.. Most applicants don't have an "angle" or "spike". Use the application to present what you have done in the most positive manner possible.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 16
    Have you read the tips at the top of the essay forum?
    edited June 16
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  • happy1happy1 22664 replies2225 postsVerified Member Senior Member
    The essay is the place you can tell something positive/interesting about yourself that can't be found elsewhere on the application.

    Have you googled "college essay tips"?

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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6662 replies42 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Work with your strengths. Encouraging well roundedness and exploration is a positive.
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  • oldfortoldfort 22868 replies290 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    One of my kids wrote about how ballet helped her take constructive criticism and improve herself. She made it a bit funny by talking about putting herself out there wearing practically nothing while someone was telling her she wasn't pointing her toes properly.
    Another daughter wrote about her love of reading. She talked about taking bath while reading and dropping books in the tub.
    My kids also didn't have any earth shattering experience, so they wrote about things that mattered to them. It was a way for the AOs to get to know them personally.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28777 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    It’s the writing that counts; not the subject which is YOU. What you are saying is that YOU have nothing to say about yourself that is interesting at all.

    If you truly feel that way, make sure you have some big schools on your list that have no essay or put little weight on it. There are plenty of them.
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  • ItisatruthItisatruth 278 replies22 postsRegistered User Member
    Google "College Essay guy" and watch a few of his short videos and try some of the (free) exercises on his site - you'll be off to the races in no time. It is a 100% certainty that you have something to write about. My kid wrote about trying to keep bees and failing.
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  • scholarmescholarme 2674 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I like the "Hack the College Essay site" - thought it was fun to read, and free, and might be helpful.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2011 replies28 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 17
    Good advice so far, adding to google 'essays that worked' at Tufts, Hamilton and Johns Hopkins for wide ranging essay examples that impressed AOs.
    edited June 17
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9017 replies489 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You do NOT need an angle or a spike. I work with kids professionally on their college essays. The vast majority think they have nothing interesting to say. Everyone can find something to say about themselves.

    Here are some topics some of my students have written about:

    Going to the grocery store near a relative’s house to get a food item only available locally.
    Bringing her childhood nightlight to college.
    Joy at seeing the gates of summer camp each year.
    Working in the kitchen at summer camp each year.
    Planning the annual family vacation to the beach.
    Creating an “animal” in the school robotics class.
    Being a ball boy at the tennis court.

    There are so many others. The ONE thing each of these students had in common is that they wrote about something that means a lot to them. That’s all that matters. My students have always had multiple colleges to choose from, but it’s because they wrote about what mattered to them. What matters to you? Write about that.
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  • RayMantaRayManta 174 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 17
    It's hard to write about yourself. One idea to help you get started is to make a list of things you've done in your life that you are proud of, and a second list of things you'd like to accomplish over, say, the next ten years. Perhaps a theme will emerge, or something will make you smile more than others that you can turn into an essay. I'm not talking necessarily about commonly-held "accomplishments" like winning a prize or receiving public accolades. On my list of accomplishments, for example, might be learning to ski, baking brownies, and learning how to play a particular piece on the piano. But I'd also have writing a novel, too, and raising two children without either losing any fingers or toes. To bootstrap onto Lindagaf, her (I think Lindagaf is a her, but my apologies if I'm mistaken) examples would fit into such a list. Then if possible I'd try to find a connection between an item on each list: What is it about one of your accomplishments that has pointed you toward one of your goals?
    edited June 17
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  • rickle1rickle1 1817 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just start writing. That's the hardest part. Brainstorm and write anything that comes to mind. Once you start, you'll find it's amazing how it flows out of you. Don't worry about structure or grammar or anything at this point. Just ideas. Then see what sticks out and can be developed.
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  • TheSATTeacherTheSATTeacher 236 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    The most important thing is to show you are a thoughtful, interested, and self-aware person. The essay is there so you can show-off yourself, not your accomplishments (you are not your accomplishments). I think many essays actually go awry by trying too much to do the latter and in the process the writer often shows herself to be distinctly unthoughtful and un-self-aware. As such the essay does not have to be about anything major. The best essays are often about the most mundane things.
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2738 replies150 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You don't have to be interesting. One of the exemplars of a successful essay was about Costco.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/high-school-senior-who-got-into-5-ivy-league-schools-shares-her-admissions-essay-2016-4
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3707 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    You could actually write the essay on how to write an essay when you don't have anything to right about. Talk about how your schools theory of being well rounded and exploring deeper made you the person you are today. Why was your school so different. Do you agree with your schools theory of teaching. If not why?

    If anything it will get you going.

    Make it unique, personal and interesting. This topic would be interesting since it's different......
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  • ChillDadChillDad 215 replies20 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Seinfield was a TV show about "nothing." It had a fabulous run and became a cultural touchstone. Your college essay topic will certainly be about "something," but take a queue from the TV show and look at something mundane in your life from a quirky angle. Honest, heartfelt writing with a touch of self-deprecating humor can be a winning formula.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3707 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ChillDad.. First thing I thought of when reading the title... Nice pick up.
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