I've written often on this blog that you have to be careful who you listen to when taking college admissions advice. Steve Singer, Director of College Counseling at Horace Mann School in The Bronx, is one of the people kids, parents and other counselors should listen to. I've heard him speak on panels at conferences, and every time I do, I learn something.
Singer is retiring this year, and recently shared some great advice in this piece from The New York Times. Here's a snippet from the part about college essays (but the whole thing is well worth the read).
Everyone is trying to come across as Edmund Wilson, Erwin Schrödinger or
Edna St. Vincent Millay. What do they want? Actually, essays that make
them feel like they’re in their room with a 17-year-old kid, albeit
thoughtful and accomplished. Feel free. Be yourself. It’s the only
marketing device that can work.