Your life is filled with lots of accomplishments, events, and memories. So, there's a huge urge to want to share all of that in your college application essay. With between 500 and 750 words to work with, it's impossible to get all the wonderful things you've accomplished and want to share with the admissions officer into this one essay, at least not in any sort of meaningful way. So, resist that urge to list a bunch of events! There are multiple parts to your application - the resume, your grades, short essays, standardized testing, and recommendations. All of these components will contribute to giving the admissions offer a rich picture of who you are.
Let the resume tell your chronological accomplishments from work, volunteer, and extra curricular activities. Let recommendations brag about the more qualitative pieces of who you are - personality, drive, etc. And, let the essay tell the reader how you think, your aspirations, and where those aspirations come from. In most cases, this stems from a story or series of events that are pivotal in your life. Here are some questions that might help you pinpoint these types of events:
Once you settle on the topic, don't forget to expand on the story and why it's significant, how it's changed who you are/your goals, and how it ties to your aspirations for the future or your more immediate next steps.
After reading thousands of college application essays from students at all different levels of writing, I've learned that the most powerful essays are ones that are genuine. For whatever reason, the right words flow, the thoughts are better conveyed, and the essay never feels forced or over-edited. It's a win-win for the prospective student: it's easier to write the essay & it's a more memorable essay for the reader, too.
We can tell when a portion of the essay feels forced - when a student starts writing what they think should be written instead of their own thoughts and perspective on their life and future. Or a parent interferes and suggests what they believe an admissions officer would like to read. Big ideas and strategy for the essay can come from many different places (parents, peers, other mentor figures), but we find that something wonderful always emerges when the student finally gets to writing their own thoughts down. It's always a transformative process, guiding students through this new type of writing - about themselves, their thoughts and desires for the future. Regardless of writing skill level - a genuine essay is one of the ingredients that is most powerful.
When Lucent Education started almost 5 years ago, 'unicorns' were still mythical creatures, to 'disrupt' simply meant to be annoying and 'uber' was still most commonly used as a German adjective. Start-up culture was in its infancy and while we were excited to be part of a new venture, we certainly did not envision how internet-based technologies would transform businesses in such a short time!
Our website back then did not have fancy graphics, we did not hire any UX/UI designers and we certainly did not try to 'gamify' the college application or job search process through our the webpage. We did, however, insist on offering a quality service, primarily over the internet, that would be affordable to many.
With those guiding principles, Lucent Education has come a long way. Going through our records, we have helped hundreds of clients achieve success both in terms of college admissions as well as securing their dream job.
These successes remain our primary motivation moving forward. We are now more experienced, better prepared and have better tools to help serve you better. And the first step in improving starts with Lucent having a new look!
The webpage is a lot more streamlined and easier on the eye. We have bundled some of our services so that prices remain competitive while you get a more comprehensive experience. We also have newer pictures of ourselves, so you know exactly who you are working with!
And this is exactly what sets us apart from our competitors. Regardless when you call or email us, regardless of what services you are looking for, there are only 3 people who will get back in touch with you. You will receive a reply from either Agnes, Tilia or SS - no one else. No unsupervised inboxes, automated replies, or overseas call centers.
At Lucent Education, it is all about personalized services from real people. And we hope to continue to extend a helping hand to reach your goals.
College, Graduate School, and Career Coaching.