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If you’ve never done it before, free writing is just taking a topic and writing anything that comes into your head.Just take a blank document or sheet of paper, set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and start writing.When you’re juggling transcripts, forms, dates, and everything else, it’s easy to brush off the college application essay as “just another part of the application.”However, while it’s true that the essay isn’t the only thing that matters to college admissions officers, a great essay can actually compensate for less than stellar grades. Most of the other parts of the application are just lists and statistics: GPA, courses taken, a list of extracurriculars, maybe some work or volunteer experience.
Even if you’re only applying to a couple schools that you know you can get into, it will still serve you well to write a compelling admissions essay.
Standing out from everyone else could put you in the running for additional scholarships and will also simply make a good impression, which never hurts.
The point of this exercise is twofold: These are all jumping off points for the essay.
They’ll get you started, but simply writing about these things alone isn’t enough.
My suggestion is to just read through them and narrow down to one or two that really speak to you.
From there, get out a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas for each. Put down anything you can think of that might work as an essay.
Here’s what a first attempt at describing this might look like: The first time I marched in front of a crowd, I was so nervous.
We got into formation, took the field, and began to play.
The more ideas, the better, as you often find your best ideas only after getting the obvious ones out of the way.
Speaking of obvious ideas, the biggest piece of advice I can give about writing college essays is this: avoid the obvious.