By definition, the personal essay is your story, not your counselor’s, your parents’ or your teachers’; it’s yours to own. Admissions officers are smart. Many read thousands of essays each year. Because your writing skills and style come through in other parts of your application, including your grades and test scores, they’re highly tuned to when a ghost writer has stepped in.
Write Now! Tips
> Lack of time—not lack of a story—is the common ingredient of flat essays.
> One of the best ways to take control and own the process is by working smart, setting and sticking to a schedule.WRITE NOW! covers this in FOCUS | Timing is Everything, Stick to Your Priorities and Time + the Tomato.
> Your state of mind is a big factor in owning the process—and outcome. View the essay as an opportunity rather than an obligation or something to get through.
> Seek feedback and gather ideas on topics and drafts, but ultimately decide for yourself on the focus of your essays.