Applying to college is an intimidating and difficult process. Whether it is choosing what colleges to apply to, what area you want to be going to school in, what field of study you want to do, and what you should write that looming admissions essay about, you are bombarded with decisions. When you finally get to the point where you have your list of colleges that you think are right for you, it is time to write that essay.
This essay is not like most essays that you have written, nor like the essays you will have to write in the future. This essay is all about you. It should be something you are passionate about, like an event that changed you into the person you are now. The subject should make you stand out so that the Board of Admissions remembers your essay and it is not just one in the stack. If there is an event in your past that impacted your life or a person who influenced you that you can think of off the top of your head then use it. Writing about a topic that meaningful will come off as such on paper. If you cannot think of something off the top of your head, make a list of all the people who have influenced you, such as teachers, family members and friends. Or give yourself sometime to think about what really matters to you, like music, art, sports, theatre, or a subject or topic that you feel has made you who you are today, a great candidate for a school. You are essentially selling yourself. This is the ultimate sales pitch in your application; it could be the extra push that you need to get into your dream school.
In terms of style, the essay should be a single topic or thesis essay. Do not shy away from writing in the first person. This is your chance to control what admissions boards think of you so writing in the first person is a good way to emphasize that. Be yourself, do not try to sound or be someone else. If you are using dictionary.com every other sentence, it will show. You will be given a certain amount of words to use so use them wisely. Like most essays, the introduction and conclusion are very important, they draw in the reader and leave the lasting impression. You want them to be strong, and quick to the point. The people reading your essay will notice if you are using fillers, so make sure you are writing about a topic that you can comfortably and intelligently write 1000 words, or whatever the specific qualifications are.
Last but not least, have fun while you are writing this essay. If it is something very meaningful to you it should be fun to write. And again, be yourself. The admissions board is reading it to learn more about you, who you are, what you care about, and your voice, don't be afraid to use it.