Preparing for College

Some Funny Essay Mistakes

Having worked with seniors on more application essays than I care to remember, I'm always amused to see what level of thought (or lack thereof) aspiring college frosh are putting into their personal statements. That's why I got such a big kick out of Bloopers from College Admissions Essays, billed as "Bloopers from College Admission Essays From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up."

As the article notes:

Caught up in the hurly-burly, helter-skelter and hugger-mugger of college applications, a student aspiring to enter Bates College once wrote, "I am in the mist of choosing colleges." The admissions departments at Bates and Vassar Colleges have compiled a list of bloopers from their admissions essays:

Here are a few examples:

- If there was a single word to describe me, that word would have to be "profectionist."

- I was abducted into the national honor society.

- In my senior year, I am serving as writting editor of the yearbook.

- I want to be bilingual in three or more languages.

- I have made the horror role every semester.

- I want a small liberal in the northeast part of the country.

- Bates is a college I can excell in.

- I am writing to tell you that I was very discouraged when I found out that I had been differed from Bates.

- I am thinking of possibly transferring to your college. I applied as an undergraduate but was weight listed.

- I first was exposed through a friend who attends Vassar.

- I would love to attend a college where the foundation was built upon women.

- My mother worked hard to provide me with whatever I needed in my life, a good home, a stale family and a wonderful education.

- Playing the saxophone lets me develop technique and skill which will help me in the future, since I would like to become a doctor.

There's more, if you care to keep laughing. However, if you would like to see what truly excellent college application essays look like, check out my real-life examples on College Confidential.

Essays are no laughing matter, though. One more suggestion for all you aspiring applicants: Get Harry Bauld's great little book on essays. You can see what I think of it here.

Regardless of how you approach the task of writing your college application essays, please . . . don't become a star on America's Funniest Essay Mistakes. That's one show that's been running entirely too long.