Writing a College Essay with No Editors or Readers

No One Read My College Essay: Here's What Happened

While everyone else was editing, re-working and sharing their essays during senior year, I stood alone with my own words - for better or worse.


For years, I couldn't wait to write my college essay. I'd periodically pieced together meaningful metaphors, long stories about my childhood struggles and how I'd grown as a person, always keeping in mind the impact every single word would have on the admissions officer reading the essay. In writing, my philosophy has always been that eloquent yet concise words make for the most effective expression.

My college essay opposed this theory - it devolved into a 650-word abomination. Yes, I wrote exactly 650 words. The limit. That's not something to brag about. I later watched a video where an admissions officer from Brown University said that the ideal essay was 450 words. Oops.

It was excessive, shallow and ultimately pointless. I recalled my old habit of building characters and acting as if I were these pretend people, then divulged and connected my passion for politics. The final product was complete at 11:57pm the night of my first three Early Action deadlines. It was a hot mess. Or so I thought.

My parents didn't read my essay. My english teacher didn't read my essay. My friends didn't read my essay. Before I sent any applications to college, my words were between me and Google Drive. When my guidance counselor asked me to recite a single sentence from my essay, I begrudgingly spoke a few words out loud and began to tear up. I was so protective of my writing, so tied up in my own mind and ruthlessly critical of my own creation that I didn't want to give anyone the opportunity to mock or judge me. For what was supposed to be the most important essay of my life, I didn't hold back. I let the words flow, knowing full well that some readers just wouldn't understand. In essence, I didn't edit at all.

For months after the deadlines, you can imagine the torture I put my mind and ego through. It was a true test of my confidence in my writing and, ultimately, my overall self-confidence. I quickly realized how reliant I was on others' approval - the constant battle between "should I share it?" and "No, keep it to myself" rocked my brain every day.

My first college decision was from a "safety" school. I told myself that, if this was the only school I was accepted to, I would be happy. It was a solid, reputable school and I would be perfectly okay going there. I excitedly clicked the link in the email, logged into my account, opened it up and...deferred. My heart completely sank. I was devastated, positive that the reason for this unfortunate outcome was my miserable attempt at an essay. I hated myself even more for the next three months, until decisions from my reach schools were released.

In the end, I was accepted to some schools, including all of my reaches, waitlisted at some target schools, and accepted to that safety that deferred me in the beginning - and with a decent scholarship. What I'm trying to convey is this...trust thyself. You know your writing. Don't let editors manipulate and change the entire meaning of your essay. People want to hear YOUR words, from YOUR mind. It's good to get approval from others, but ultimately, you will be the one rereading the essay over and over until decisions come out. As long as you're at peace with what you've expressed, you're all set.

And looking back, I'm not sure I would change anything. My essay is me. That's all anyone can ask for.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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