I often work with students who are trying to write college application essays. Many of them try to prepare that essay in the form of a chronology, listing important events in their lives from elementary school forward.
I admit that I did the same thing. But the best essays I’ve seen over the years take a different approach.
These great essays focus on one or two major events that shaped a student’s life, and either pointed them in a positive direction or gave them ideas about what career path to pursue.
The secret: Chronologies present a road map an individual followed. Spotlighting pivotal events, however, can focus on an individual’s gifts, or present life lessons that readers can learn from.