Essay For College Acceptance Examples Of Idioms

What should and should not be included in a college essay? What rules can and can’t you break? And what will or won’t allow you to maximize your productivity as you tackle this daunting task? So many questions, right? That’s why we put together a list of our top DOs and DON’Ts for the essay writing process. DO take a look!

  • DO give yourself enough time. Some students work well under tight deadlines, but we always suggest you start the essay writing process early enough to spend ample time brainstorming, free-writing, drafting and perfecting. You will need distance and time away from various stages of your draft in order to gain the necessary perspective it takes to make improvements. While many a student has regretted starting their essay the week (or night!) before it was due, we don’t know anyone who complained about starting his/her essay too early.
  • DON’T plagiarize. This one should hopefully go without saying. Not only does plagiarism reflect poorly on your character, chances are copying someone else’s words verbatim (or close enough) will not result in an essay that is reflective of your distinctive personality traits and writing style. Believe in your own abilities and create work that is yours and yours alone.
  • DO be honest. You are awesome (yes, you). Many of your experiences, when discussed honestly and thoughtfully are absolutely worthy of inclusion in a personal statement. Even if you don’t have kooky, out-of-the-box stories to tell, sincerity counts for a lot in an essay that aims to say something about your personality and values. You don’t need to make things up or exaggerate your circumstances. You are enough. Also, liars get caught.
  • DON’T exceed length limit. Attention to detail! An arguably annoying, yet critically important skill that will be relevant in almost any task you tackle in the future. Start this next phase of your life right by paying attention to the length limit. Many applications help you with this detail by providing word-limiting boxes in which you will paste your beautifully written masterpieces. But for those that don’t — beware! Double and triple check these details before submission.
  • DO respond to the prompt. You may have that really great story you want to tell, but if no one’s asking for it, writing it won’t do you any good. That said, we find that a wide range of stories, with just a bit of tweaking, can be molded to fit within the boundaries of the Common Application personal statement prompts. Let us know if you need help adapting your chosen subject to the Common App questions. We’ve helped many a student in the story/prompt matching game. That’s what we’re here for!
  • DON’T use cliches or overuse idioms. Cliches in college essays get us all bent out of shape. Think you can’t crack the nut of the personal statement without using these over-worn phrases? We don’t buy it. Whenever you find yourself recording a phrase off this list, dig deeper. We know you have it in you! Also, tell your story simply and directly. If you don’t idioms in your everyday speech, don’t try to squeeze them into your essay.
  • DO take breaks. Breaks are essential for generating creativity and keeping yourself from getting burned out. Taking regular breaks will keep you on schedule, but don’t take too many! Too many breaks in a row stop being breaks and start being procrastination.
  • DON’T rely on spell check. Spell check catches a lot, but not everything. It won’t catch homophones (the famous your/you’re pair, for example) but admissions officers sure will. Plus, giving yourself the chance to proofread in-depth will also allow you yet another chance to make sure you like the way your essay flows.
  • DO write about things other than your accomplishments. An essay in resume form is not the best use of your essay space. You can list all the great things you’ve done in other places in the application. Use your essay for reflection, showcasing humor, talking about your passions — anything that isn’t already reflected on your activity sheet.
  • DON’T stress out. Stress helped cavemen flee lions, but it may hurt you more than help you when writing your essay. Take a deep breath. Know that one hundred percent of students we speak to, even if they are scared at first, complete their college admissions essays. And call us if you need us. We can help alleviate some of the stress of this process. Dare we even suggest that we make it fun?

Any experience or job in your life can make a great essay! This student wrote about interacting with various characters at her job at a drive-thru window and how that helped form portals to other peoples’ worlds outside of her own.

The drive-thru monitor on the wall quietly clicks whenever a person pulls up to the menu screen. It’s so subtle I didn’t notice it my first two months working at Freddy’s, the retro fast-food restaurant looming over Fairfax’s clogged stretch of Route 50. But, after months of giving out greasy burgers, I have become attuned to it. Now, from the cacophony of kitchen clangs I can easily pick out that click which transports me from my world of fry oil into the lives of those waiting in the drive-thru.

*Click*
A languid male voice drifts into my ear. He orders tenders, with a side of cheese sauce. “How much cheese sauce is in a cup?” he frets, concerned over the associated 80 cent charge. The answer is two ounces, and he is right to worry. It’s a rip-off.
After I answer him, my headset goes quiet for a second. Finally, his voice crackles through.
“Do you sell cheese sauce by the gallon?”
*Click*
A man orders two steakburgers and two pints of custard.
Minutes later, he reaches my window. I lean out to take his credit card, only to meet the warm tongue of a wizened dog.
The man apologizes: “She just loves your restaurant.”
I look at the dog, her nose stretching out of the car and resting on the window ledge, then look at the order he had given me.
Once I hand him his food, the dog sniffs one of the pints.
“No!” he reprimands. “Only after you eat your dinner.”
He sets a burger between her paws, then speeds away.
*Click*
I can’t understand the order, but I know that whoever is speaking is from New Jersey. Tommy, pronounced “Tahmee”, apparently has high blood pressure. He orders fries.
“No!” the woman screeches. “No salt!”
They pull up to the window. The man, clad in a Hawaiian shirt, thrusts a crumpled wad of cash in my hand.
The women pushes him back. “Sorry!” she apologizes, “But we’re lost! Never been to Virginia before - we’re trying to find Lynchburg!”
It is 10:45 PM, and Lynchburg is three hours away. We give them an extra side of fries (no salt of course) and directions to a nearby hotel.

For these brief moments, I am part of their lives: in their cars, they are at home. They are surrounded by their trash and listening to their music, dancing with their friends and crying alone, oblivious to the stranger taking their order. On the surface, these people are wildly different; they range from babies clad in Dolphin’s jerseys (“Her first pre-game party!”) to grandmothers out for ladies’ night; college students looking for a cheese sauce fix to parents on a dieting kick (“Chicken sandwich on a lettuce wrap”). But, despite every contrasting characteristic, they all ended up in the same place: my drive-thru, my portal to their worlds.

*Click* It’s a family, squished into a little car. When I hand them their bags, they happily open them and devour the food. The mother asks me for extra napkins, forks, and knives.
“We just moved,” she explains. “And everything is still in boxes.”
I moved a lot as a child, so I know what they’re going through. I give them an entire pack of utensils.
As the car leaves, the kids in the backseat press their faces against the car window and wave. I wave back as the car slowly makes it way toward 50. New to the area, they have yet to adopt the hurried rush that comes with the proximity to DC.

Customers like these help me realize I am not just a passive traveller in this drive-thru - I do not just watch and observe. I laugh and I help and I talk with them, if only for a few moments. They tell me about their lives, and I mention stories from mine. Over my hundreds of hours behind the drive-thru window, thousands of different people have come through, sharing snippets of their diverse lives. All they have in common when they come in is the desire for greasy fast food. However, by the time they leave, they share something else: a nugget of my life.

The drive-thru portal takes me to disparate places; to Lynchburg, to the grocery store to buy cheese sauce, to a new home filled with opportunity and cardboard boxes. It transports me back to my room, where I hug my dog and feed her chicken and treats. It is a portal to the world, hidden in the corner of a fast-food kitchen.

With each click, that door opens. (764)

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