Prep Pride: Writing the Perfect College Application Essay

Fall is here and across the country one can hear the furious clicking and clacking of high school fingers on a keyboard as they work on crafting their “perfect” college application essay. The essay that strikes that delicate balance of humor, humility, and introspection. The essay, that when read, sends the reader down the hall to share with their colleagues. The essay that turns a combination of grades and activities into a real high school student.


In short, a great essay is a great story. It may be about a life-changing experience, a once in a lifetime event that forever changes the way you look at life. Maybe it is about your passion, the thing that you can’t go a day without thinking about or putting into action. Perhaps it is a special relationship forged over many late night discussions. Ultimately, it should be about the student applying to college and give some insight into who they are and what they believe.

So, how does one develop this sense of self and find a way to write about it? Simple. Try new things. Challenge yourself. Listen to your peers and your mentors. Take advantage of the opportunity in high school to further develop who you are and what is important to you. This is where your story will come from. Think of the most interesting stories you have ever read or seen — they don’t happen to people who just sit on the couch and watch life pass them by. The best stories are about those who go out and experience life, meet people, and develop emotions.


Take the opportunity in high school to have experiences, to feel emotions, to take a moment and contemplate. Do things just for the sake of doing them.

Above all, find a place that allows you to explore your interests and develop new ones. Find a school where people support you and help you reach your goals. Colleges understand that one size does not fit all; they are looking for the unique and the sincere. Hopefully, your high school experience includes those opportunities in the same way we encourage them at Fairmont. It’s time to get motivated, set goals, and chase those new experiences.


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