4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Advice on College Essay?

I have no clue what to write my college essay on. I have had some ideas but they seem too cliche. For background, I am a First Generation Mexican-American with Mexican Immigrant parents. I was thinking about writing about my struggles as a daughter of immigrants but I don't know how to incorporate that into an essay or how to start it. Any suggestions please?

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Accepted Answer
4 years ago

You should read "College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay" By Ethan Sawyer (its in epub and pdf in google). Basically what he says in the book is that you can take a seemingly mundane topic and write it so brilliantly that it will be compelling and insightful. He outlines 4 differet a approaches to the essay, using themes as challenges and knowing what you want to study. There are many different components that make a good essay, an original focusing lense, the wirting style, the perspective, story, sensory details, insights, but most important a great essay shows who YOU are.

If you feel that being a First Gen American its a very important part of your identity, go for it! It is not cliché if its you. If you write it from you unique viewpoint, and add your own insights on the struggle, mixing it with your talents, qualities and experiences you'll get a strong essay.

You can start by brainstorming your talents, strenghts, significant experiences, struggles and achievements. Then write verything that comes to mind when you think about regarding being a first gen. Those can be lessons, experiences, insights, pros and cons, dreams, anything really. Then you can connect your analysis of yourself to the first gen american part of you. What has come out of that identity? How has it made me better? How has it made me stronger?

For example you may have written art in your strenghts, and then you can connect it saying that having a dual cultural identity has allowed you to appreciate cultural diffusion and you portray that through your work.

Or that having inmigrant parents has made you accutely aware of inmigrant policies in the States and that's why you want to be an economist or journalist.

But please, read the book 100% recommended!

4 years ago

So the topic might be cliche but if you have a unique story it will not be cliche. As for essay tips make sure there is significant personal insight and not just a story/ancedotes.

Also are you in a majority Latinx or Hispanic area if so you can talk about the community. And if ou live in a white dominated area you can talk about adjusting. Also are you an immigrant if so you can use that.

Also include a bit self-humor.

When you finish writing it ask yourself if you think anyone else could use your essay. If no one else can use your essaany because it is that individualized you did a good job.

Hope this helps!

PS: Im assuming first gen means for college.

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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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