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Simple ways to write the hardest essay of your life

College essays can be the tipping point for acceptance or denial, especially at competitive schools.
College essays can be the tipping point for acceptance or denial, especially at competitive schools.Istock

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The college essay. It is daunting. It can cause sleepless nights and stomachs to churn. Countless hours are spent trying to find the perfect subject, the perfect description, the perfect words to portray the winning experience that will green-light an application.

And yes, it can be the one thing that either gets you into a place like Boston College, or gets you a rejection letter.

But John Mahoney, director of undergraduate admissions at Boston College has a few words of advice for high school seniors now polishing their essays before hitting the send button.

Keep it simple. Tell a story, and create an image.

“Create an image for me so I get to know the person behind the transcript,” he said. “I want to feel the heartbeat.”

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