<p>It's true that colleges would like to see your care about the community, or that you're an intelligent person, or that you're willing to take risks, but not all of these have to be conveyed in the essay. They can see your community side through the service you've done, or your intelligence through your test results, or your risk-taking through your courseload. I think that MIT is primarily looking for a sense of personality, the person behind the numbers, in the essay. </p>
<p>That being said, she doesn't have to write about the community in her essay; let her write about something that she's passionate about, something that would be genuine and enjoyable for her to write. </p>
<p>"She doesn't think that she should be honest because she thinks no college would want her as she actually is."
To this I have to say that we all have flaws in our personalities. Yet we don't have to convey this in our essay. I could write a completely honest essay to MIT that didn't reveal how insecure or shy I was.</p>
<p>And if you help her friend out of the psychological mess that she's in:</p>
<p>Tell her that she's looking at life opposite of how we're supposed to look at it, but it's not her fault; we're the product of our environments, and her environment seems to have been tough. She says that everyone was against her, and that she had to live life trying to prove them wrong. Well, people are not as nice as they ought to be, yet they tend to expect this "niceness" from other people. It is the key point to realize that we cannot live up to this standard of proper behavior that we're all aware of. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I realize that what works best is when we all try to express interpersonal love for each other at our own expense. It doesn't make sense for us to only care about ourselves, because this leads to immorality of all sorts: selfishness, stealing, taking advantage of other people, etc. If we all love each other, we instead have a community of encouragement and support.</p>