Sharing vs Oversharing on Your College Admissions Essays
The gravity of crafting a unique college admissions essay is immense, as it creates the visualization of an actual person beyond the caliber of grades, test scores and extracurricular activities. College admissions officers face many enthusiastic students, so some applicants turn to the method of utilizing peculiar anecdotes or bizarre revelations in their prose to truly stand out in the towering piles of applications. Frank Bruni of the New York Times describes this generation as one that has grown up “in the era of the overshare,” and advises that the uncensored autobiographical approach is not always successful.
Bruni incorporates an unusual essay of a Yale applicant, focused on urinating in front of a teacher to avoid interrupting a stimulating conversation. While the officer may remember this unusual and intimate story, the candor does not package a potential Yalie. Startling a college admissions officer greatly differs from impressing him or her. The personal statement represents your voice as an applicant, and while private information may offer valuable insight to one’s character, it is generally best to veer away from discussing bodily malfunctions!
(Source: Bruni, Frank. “Naked Confessions of the College-Bound, Oversharing in Admissions Essays.” New York Times 16 June 2014.)
By: Catherine Quigley, A-List Marketing Intern & current UPenn student