If you’re working on applications right now – college, vocational school, anything that requires a transcript – do yourself a favor and read today’s Cracked article about the worst mistakes students make on their college applications. If nothing else, you can be relieved that you won’t be at the bottom of the applicant pool with competition like this.
As a side note, this line is presented as a throwaway joke, but it’s the most useful piece of advice in the article:
So what are colleges looking for? To put it simply: Authenticity. It’s all about being able to present the most honest and real version of yourself. Provided that self is undeniably awesome.
When I work with students and go over their essays, I always emphasize the importance of using the student’s natural voice, not words they aren’t comfortable with and tortured sentence structure. Not only does it automatically come across as more authentic, but it’s miles easier to read, and that’s a huge factor when the admissions officer is spending less than 10 minutes looking over your entire application. When in doubt, always, always err on the side of making things easier for your reader.