In the best of times and the worst of times, first impressions matter. Any student who hopes to be the hero of his own life will strive to write a great opening line. Picture the dark and stormy nights and the rosy-fingered dawns during which college applicants for the Class of '12 took pen in hand.
A dream come true? Parents and university-hopefuls frequently tell us that they are unsure of what to write in their personal statements. While the standard advice is easy to give Find something interesting and unique about you, and tell it in a compelling wayit is often painfully difficult to follow through on.
Easier said than done, for sure.
We often search for a hook, one that is at once unique and free of gimmicks. It is a tricky balancing act, and is certainly culturally influenced as well. One teacher marks off for using second-person e.
Complicating matters is the fact that College Board has officially okayed the use of first-person e. Folks, for the record, there are different levels of formality and myriad different styles of writing. There is truly no right or wrong in essays. My best advice to you, if you have any doubt at all, is to first learn what your particular teacher or test wants, and conform to those expectations or guidelines.
So, what are the admissions committees looking for in writing? If you ask any of them, they will invariably tell you just to be yourself, to let your true voice come out. But… What does that mean? What would happen if you were just being yourself and wrote I hecka want to go to Stanford!
I could wear a Stanford hoodie honestly, and then all my relatives would shut up about me never succeeding at anything.
Stanford published 22 opening lines of essays they liked, the writers of which were offered a place in the graduating class of Here are eight of those 22, chosen for their variety and uniqueness: On a hot Hollywood evening, I sat on a bike, sweltering in a winter coat and furry boots.
While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe? Cancer tried to defeat me, and it failed. Instead, I saw the city from the window of a helicopter, in military uniform, my face camouflaged, on my way to a special operation deep behind enemy lines.
I change my name each time I place an order at Starbucks. I was paralyzed from the waist down. I would try to move my leg or even shift an ankle but I never got a response.
This was the first time thoughts of death ever crossed my mind. As an Indian-American, I am forever bound to the hyphen. Unlike many mathematicians, I live in an irrational world; I feel that my life is defined by a certain amount of irrationalities that bloom too frequently, such as my brief foray in front of people without my pants.
Be sure to take a look at the rest of the opening sentencesas they offer a rare and invaluable peek inside the admissions office. I hope those opening lines will give you some ideas of what to write and of what the admissions committees like.
Remember, they are human, just like you. And good luck with your admissions!Links to Full College Essay Examples. Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over of these (plus some essay excerpts!). Common App Essay Samples.
Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. Although I posted this link on the Stanford site, it is also appropriate here. Reinforces post #19 ."The undergraduate admissions staff, while evaluating students on their total merit, take notice of the first lines that make essay-reading a particular pleasure.
Articles That Will Improve Student Essay Writing. June 19th, Read this article to discover the best applications all college students use for essay writing, information search, tasks organization, books and documents sharing, etc.
and what books famous people choose to put on their bookshelves. Top Successful College Essays. After tracing the first line on the paper, you need to pull the pen upwards and move across a third dimension, through the air, before dropping it back down onto the paper and making a second stroke to complete the X.
Read the top college essays that worked at Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and more.
Jun 15, · These are opening lines of admissions essays that the Stanford admission reps especially liked. All of the essay writers were accepted as .
Stanford has published a few choice opening lines of college essays to help students understand how important it is to hit your reader over the head with something intriguing, funny, poignant, or otherwise worthy of attention.