What Not to Write About in Your Application Essays

The first rule to remember when drafting your college application essays is that there likely will be a group of people reading your words and ultimately deciding your fate. The truth is, none of these people will think exactly alike, and therefore you want to write a response that is largely relatable and incredibly unique. To avoid being controversial, follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t discuss politics: It’s fine if you mention that you belong to a specific club, or even that your political party is different than the one in which you were raised, but it’s when you start condemning those who think differently than you that you run into dicey territory. Be careful and remember that it is easy to misinterpret words or become easily offended on paper.
  2. Avoid being anti-religious: Try not to condemn people who think differently than you. It is so important that you appear open-minded and accepting of others’ opinions. It’s okay if you write about how religion has played a major role in your life, whether you personally are spiritual or you simply benefit from a religious community. However, it’s when you start to write negatively of a specific belief system that you run the risk of ostracizing your audience.
  3. No parties, alcohol or drugs: This sounds like a no-brainer, but often times, students will reference “parties” or discuss friends using drugs or alcohol in order to separate themselves from the masses. Even a casual reference may send the wrong message to admissions.

By avoiding these topics, you are much more likely to send the right message to admissions. Be unique, be creative and be smart.

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