You might get several pieces of advice on how to write your college essay, especially if you’re in the senior year of high school. Some might recommend you to write from the selection committee’s perspective and stick to safer topics, and on the other hand, some might advise you to stay true to yourself and express your opinions freely. Most of the times, these instructions confuse the students more than it helps them, which is why they end up looking for a professional college essay help service. But the choice is yours: you can always choose to talk about the things that are close to you as long as they aren’t polarised, illegal or such topics.
A college essay’s primary purpose is to present you as a person, giving details of every significant aspect of you and your personality. Students who have lived with a disability or a mental illness would know that these have played a critical role in shaping them and their life. But often they are confused if they should mention it in their college essays or not. Is it appropriate to do so? Is it too personal?
Well, you can definitely mention such things in your document. In fact, it is encouraged by many universities as these things give a deeper insight into your psyche and personality. But as it is a delicate subject, you should present it in the right way. Here are a few points to keep in mind while doing so:
- Present it in a positive light
As they say: there is something good in everything; when you have decided to talk about a mental illness or a disability in your essay, first make sure you are comfortable in doing so. You need to present it in a positive light and not set a sorrowful or negative tone. Use phrases like ‘living with’ instead of ‘struggling/suffering with’ and ‘difference’ or ‘special’ instead of ‘impairment’, ‘handicap’ or ‘disability’. Focus on all the things you have learned due to it.
- The changes it has caused
Talk about how it has shaped your life and the changes it has brought to your life. The motive of mentioning a disability or mental illness in an essay is to explain how it has helped you grow, what skills you have acquired because of it, what changes it has caused in your perspective etc.
- How you would contribute to the university?
Elaborate on how you would contribute to the university- if you would help in awareness of the issue or form a support group for similar students. Use words like inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
- Not a journal
The struggles you have faced are very close to you and it is understandable that you could get very sentimental when writing about the same. But keep in mind that it is a formal document and not a journal, so make sure to maintain a formal tone.
- Don’t make it a plea
Your college essay is not a request letter. Don’t try to imply that your disability or mental illness is the reason why you deserve to be selected over other candidates. Always try to present it focusing on your journey and personal growth and not as a tool to request acceptance.
Most students feel uncomfortable discussing these significant aspects of their life in college essays due to the stigmas around them. It is completely fine to do so, all you need to take care of is how you present it.
Summary: This write-up tries to help students on how to present their disabilities or mental illnesses in their college essays if they choose to do so.