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Some of the best college application essays are written about small moments that are meaningful to the applicant.
Over-the-top humor can also be a risk, but a well-placed joke or two is okay (if it reflects your personality).
Keep in mind that humor can sometimes fall flat in print, and admissions officers don’t like essays that come across as cheesy or “cutesy.” Often, students feel pressure to write about a completely unique, never-before-seen essay topic that will help them stand out.
But for the most part, it’s better to avoid subjects that could reflect poorly on your judgment and morals.
After all, you don’t want colleges to think you’re someone they’d rather not have on campus.
Sometimes, applicants write about obstacles they’ve overcome or illicit/illegal topics including arrest, sexual experiences, drugs, and alcohol.
In a few cases, these topics have been addressed effectively.
The admissions team found the essay off-putting, and the student was rejected.
Had he chosen a “safer” topic, he would have received an acceptance letter.
It’s hard to be cliché when writing about young love, and a relationship shouldn’t be the main aspect of your life that you want to showcase for college admissions officers.
The bottom line is this: No matter how much you love your mom, dad, grandparents, or significant other, your college application essay needs to be about risky.