Don’t take anonymous college essay advice

You wouldn't just walk up to a random stranger on the street and ask him what you should write your college essay about.  But a lot of kids are actually doing the online version of that.

Pick a college, any college with an essay prompt on the application.  Type that prompt into Google and you'll find students who…

1)  …have posted their essays to open forums and are seeking feedback.

2)  …are asking for suggestions about what to write.

When you open up your college essays to the world wide web like this, you have no idea who's giving you the advice.  It could be a kid, a parent, or some troll who just lurks on the forums.  And whoever it is may or may not have the slightest idea what they're talking about.

There are plenty of people you can go to for advice who not only know know about college essays, but who also have a vested interest in seeing you succeed.  Ask your counselor.  Ask your English teacher.  Ask your older brother or sister who's already in college.  Ask a professional, someone who will be accountable for the advice. 

But don't take college essay advice from a stranger.