Tip from Priyanka: College Applications

Priyanka Narayan
My name is Priyanka, and I’m a rising sophomore in Quincy House and a tutor for HSA here at Harvard. I plan to study molecular and cellular biology. Outside of academics, I spend most of my time as a member of the Harvard Debate Council and participating in volunteer activities.

It’s that time of year again. Seniors all over the country are working on college applications. Although writing college essays can seem like a daunting task, it can be made more manageable if you follow these five easy steps:

1. Pick a topic you have a real connection with. You should have a clear reason for choosing a topic for your essay. If you can’t think of a story or event that describes your relation to a topic, you probably shouldn’t write about it.
2. Brainstorm and think about your essay to make an outline.
3. Write your first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect but do it as soon as you are able to. Your goal should be to have your voice come out in your essay.
4. Rewrite your first draft. Don’t just edit it. Redo the whole thing. Try a new structure or different stories or examples.
5. Do multiple edits and rewrites of your paper. Have your teachers, friends, and even parents give you opinions. Remember, it’s your essay; so keep your voice. You don’t have to listen to everyone’s ideas. It’s all about picking and choosing what works for you.

Best of luck!

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