Applicants usually write personal essays along with a small sample of why you want to go to that school, and finally a short answer essay. They are asked to think, self-reflect, and express how you feel about the topic being presented in the essay question. The maximum word count is usually 650 words. There are usually five standard prompts: your personal background, leaning from a failure, a challenged belief or idea, an ideal place, and an experience that marked your transition into adulthood. The topic you choose should always relate back to you- colleges want to get to know you through this essay. Try to throw curveballs- write about weird things no one has heard of. The essay is more of a personal story, and you should let it flow naturally, and only brag moderate amounts. When writing about why you chose that particular school, do research, be genuine, and form an opinion. Make a personal connection between you and the university. Write in your own voice, use a powerful story, and be sure to not make any stupid mistakes in your writing. Use someone else to proofread and make suggestions. Write during the summer. The earlier, the better. Avoid general topics or psychological nonsense. But the most important rule is: focus on yourself.
I grew up in a decrepit little bend in the river, in a town once hailed for being 'Silent Hollywood'-the hub for actors of all sorts to come and film movies in the exotic flora and fauna of Florida. Of course, the silent film industry died a long time ago. Now all that's left is shells of luxury hotels and unrestored murals of the town in it's glory days. After living in that town for fourteen years of my life, I have more than enough tales- and more than just the odd story of an eccentric neighbor or the annoying dog- that town seemed to be a magnet for all things strange and unbelievable. Out of the several I have from that old town, I've decided to share one that helped me form an opinion on people.
The river was our town's main attraction. It was mainly brackish water- appearing an ugly brown most days unless the sky reflected off it's surface to give the water an illusory blue. To the south, it flowed around a Native American burial ground before dumping out into the ocean, with the houses getting bigger and bigger on either side of it as it approached the bayside. To the west, it broke into...