As you tackle your applications, you’ll encounter lots of opinions and advice. Guidance is good; it’s a sign people care about you. But remember, in the end, the decision about what you write and, of course, the writing itself, is your responsibility.
I’m not an advocate of a no feedback, no support approach. What I am championing is that you ultimately decide on the experiences you want to share the stories you want to tell. You do the writing and when you need it, you reach out for feedback from a select, trusted group of individuals. Do this and you’ll gain confidence in yourself—and both you and your essays will be stronger for it.