What Not to Write About in College Essays

What Not to Write About in College Essays

Making the right impression on the colleges you wish to attend with your college essay can increase your chances of winning admission. However, choosing your essay’s subject before writing would be best. Even though it might not seem hard, knowing what not to write about for your college essay is crucial. Some topics might make you look uninteresting to schools. Other topics might make you stand out from the competition by allowing you to blend in with other applicants. Essay writing becomes a way of life once you’re in college. Thus, writing one or more college essays is a common requirement of the application process. What not to write about in college essays is a common question that students have, and our professional essay writers will address it in this blog.

What Do Colleges Look For in Essays?

Generally speaking, colleges use your college essays to try and understand your personality, values, and point of view. However, the paradox of the college essay is that the prompts are frequently broadly general. For instance, one of the prompts might ask you to share an example when you overcome a difficulty. Most students assume that the admissions committee is intrigued by the challenge itself because of this. The prompts provide them with additional dynamic information about you, but ultimately, the committee is more interested in getting to know you personally.

What Not to Write About in College Essays?

By understanding what not to write in college essays, you can immediately focus your brainstorming sessions. The topics below should be in your list of topics to avoid.

Highly Personal Topics

Topics for college essays that should be avoided include anything extremely sensitive or private. For instance, refrain from writing an essay that goes into excessive detail about a disease, a disability, or an injury—especially if it is severe. If you have had an experience like this, you may want to write about it to highlight how you handled it or overcame obstacles that came with it.

Travel Experience

If you have been around the world, you might want to write a detailed account of a volunteer trip or vacation you’ve taken. On the other hand, college essays about travel are another popular kind that may not help you stand out. It would help to make your travel topic truly stand out if you concentrated on a specific aspect of your vacation or trip, like meeting someone who impacted your life or an unexpected event or challenge.

Personal Accomplishments and Achievements

Your college application should include a summary of your successes and accomplishments, including any honors or awards you may have won. Your college essay doesn’t have to center on these. Although it might seem like a great way to impress the school you’re applying to, writing about your accomplishments can work against you. It’s possible that the reader won’t find your essay interesting or educational enough.

A Role Model or Most Important Place

This probably won’t work well as a topic for a college essay if you’re thinking of writing about a place or someone who has inspired you. You run the risk of emphasizing that person or location too much and neglecting yourself when you write about this kind of topic. Schools use college essays to gather additional information about prospective students. Sending in an essay that primarily discusses an inspirational location or a person you look up to doesn’t give the school enough personal information about you. 

Tragic Events

Tragic incidents are typically very difficult to write about, but they can offer a chance to examine personal development. This is dependent on how comfortable you are dealing with a subject like losing a loved one. If you write about a traumatic experience, make sure most of the content is about you.

Creative Writing

One of the most popular examples of what not to write in college essays is creative writing. It’s unlikely that writing your essay in the form of a play, poem, or stream of consciousness will earn you any creative points from the school. It makes sense that you want your essay to stand out from the others, but the best way to achieve this is by sticking to simple prose and instead choosing a creative style. 

Controversial Topics

Avoiding contentious subjects like today’s political hot buttons is advised. Although you may find a topic you are passionate about among these options, your college essay is not the place to discuss delicate or divisive subjects. Remember that you have no way of knowing if the person who reads your essay will agree with you or not.

Athletic Topics

Sports-related topics shouldn’t be an idea in college essays. Defeating the favorite team in a championship game or putting in a lot of practice for a competition is irrelevant. Due to their familiarity with the subject, student-athletes may be inclined to write essays on sports. Sports are a popular topic. It may be much more difficult for you to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Negative Aspects of the School

Though it looks obvious, it’s best to avoid writing about anything that presents the school in a bad light. Some students may choose a negative topic to stand out or gain recognition for taking a chance on their essay. The school, however, is not likely to see it that way. Making negative remarks about the college you’re applying to in your college essay is a surefire way to come across poorly. You might lose out on the opportunity to have your application given careful consideration as a result.

Humorous Topics or Jokes

Jokes and comedy are other topics that should be avoided in college essays. It may seem easier to make your college essay enjoyable to read if you write the entire thing in a humorous style or sprinkle in a few jokes. Humor and jokes are very personal and subjective. The person reading your essay won’t find humor, or any attempts at humor will appear improper or unprofessional.

Luck or Privilege

Don’t use this in your college essay if you’ve had much privilege or luck in life. This includes growing up in a wealthy neighborhood. Writing about all the wonderful things you’ve experienced could easily be bragging. Additionally, this type of essay topic doesn’t provide schools with enough information about your personal qualities or the achievements you can make with your abilities.

Expert Guidance on What Not to Write About in College Essays

Are you ready to write an outstanding college essay? Our essay writers are available to assist you in creating an essay that satisfies the highest academic requirements and captures who you are. Our experienced essay writers offer tailored guidance on what not to write about in college essays to avoid typical pitfalls and balance adhering to college essay requirements.

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