When most students are writing their college admission essay, they aren’t thinking about the Essay Readers at colleges whose entire job is to sort students’ essays into NO, MAYBE, and YES piles.
As hard as you’ve worked on your essay, you may get exactly two minutes of a Reader’s time if he or she feels your writing is boring or unoriginal.
Unfortunately, a huge percentage of essays fall into this category.
On the other hand, the few essays that show clear, original thinking get promptly placed into the YES pile.
The admission essay is one truly personal section of the college application; if your essay stands out, your chances of getting into your top choice school goes up dramatically.
Therefore, take careful note of these 43 phrases.
Using them might spell NO for your admission chances.
Phrases to Avoid in a College Essay
- From that moment on, I always knew
- Marching to the beat of my own drum
- I felt at home
- Throughout history
- I’ve always known I wanted to be a doctor
- “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” -Confucius
- When I traveled to Africa to help kids with autism
- My grandmother’s death taught me to not take life for granted
- Our nation has experienced monumental changes in society
- I learned so much about myself
- I realized I had been in this situation before
- Much of life is unexpected
- I don’t sweat the small stuff
- I learned to adapt
- My true reward
- I have loved/found/learned; I also love/found/learned
- I learned first-hand the importance of
- I hope to one day impact
- Since my discovery
- For billions of years, Earth has
- My passion for
- My thirst for knowledge
- This is where I grew the qualities of being a strong leader
- I may have traveled a world away, but by the time I left, I was no longer an outsider.
- Drive me to go the extra mile
- A catalyst for change
- There comes a time in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads
- One of the most remarkable realizations
- From the time
- Of my life
- An experience central to my creative and intellectual point of view
- Made a difference
- I received an excellent grade
- Winning that game was indicative of my larger ability to be a leader
- For if I’ve learned anything in this brief life of mine
- Rare curiosity
- Big appetite for learning
- Taste for Intellectual experimentation
- Immensely difficult
- I began to wonder
- A land of introspection
- A magical experience
- I am not afraid to push limits
By Caroline Koppelman a college admissions expert. Her college admissions consulting firm, The Kopelman Group, has helped students get into the finest schools in the country, including Harvard and Upenn. If you need help brainstorming topics, editing essays, coming up with your college list, or anything relating to the college process.