Well, here you are. Sitting in front of the computer, staring at the little “submitted” box blinking at you on the screen. The essay you’ve spent weeks writing, proofreading, showing teachers and counselors, and having nightmares about has finally been sent off. You’re expecting to feel relief, but it doesn’t come. The worry that you’ve been feeling for so long isn’t going away. Now that the essay is out of your hands, you’re second guessing every comma, anecdote, and “witty” aside. While you think over your own finished essay, remember these three facts to calm your nerves.
1. Odds are, you can write a decent essay by now.
You’ve taken English classes throughout your entire high school career. You know how to string together ideas and organize a paper. The prompts were fairly straightforward, and they give applicants a lot of room to play around with stories and essay topics. If you were able to focus in on a prompt and relate it even tangentially back to the list of prompts, you are in a good place. You probably had someone else look over your essay before sending it in (I know I did), and they were probably just as focused as you when looking for mistakes. If you haven’t sent off your essay yet, then show it to a teacher or counselor before you do. Proofreading saves lives and eases worries, especially in situations like this.
2. Your essay is one part of your application, not the entire application itself.
Your application is made up of recommendations, activities, community service, smaller supplemental questions and essays, AND your essay. Admissions officers reading your application will see more than your essay, because they want to know more about you than just what your essay can tell them. This is why your entire application is important. It creates a picture of you, the applicant, that is more complete than any one section of the application.
3. You have an interesting perspective and a story to tell.
Despite what you may have thought while writing the essay, you are different from everyone else applying. You may have had shared or similar experiences, but you are different. Two people writing about the same thing will write about it differently, because everyone experiences the world around them in a different way. Your essay will add to your application because it will show how you think or what is important to you.
With the stress of writing the essay behind you and the stress of waiting for decisions looming in the distance, you can take a moment. Take a breath. You have sent off a little piece of who you are and what you are capable of, and that is an impressive and noteworthy thing. Congratulations! You are on your way.