Cliches | Teen Ink


October 26, 2010
By bpoulos BRONZE, Flushing, New York
bpoulos BRONZE, Flushing, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

A cliché can be defined as something that has become overly familiar or commonplace. As every college applicant knows already, writing the college essay is a tedious task. Along with editing and writing numerous drafts, the applicant must also come up with a topic to write about. The piece could be about a topic provided by the college or it could be whatever the applicant chooses. Among these topics death and career aspirations are the most written about.

It’s extremely hard for a student to use a cliché topic and make themselves stand out amongst the other applicants. How is a student supposed to express their individualism if the topic they’ve chosen to write about has been overused? It’s seems simple to write about something a person is compassionate about but, someone will always be more compassionate than them. They can also write about something that you are great in, but there will always be an applicant that is greater than them.

Let’s take for example the proverbial college essay topic of traveling. Applicants use this as an opportunity to inform the reader of how their stamped passport had a life changing impact on their life. Like many people, I’ve traveled to many interesting places, have had some phenomenal experiences and have seen things many people will never get to. I’ve traveled to Italy, Greece, France, Germany, England and Spain. Coincidentally, I was in Spain the same day Spain defeated the Netherlands and won the World Cup for the first time in history. I sat amongst a crowd of over three hundred thousand Spaniards in Plaza Mayor watching the game on a four–hundred foot monitor. Watching the World Cup among the natives was a once in a lifetime experience, but it didn’t change my life or inspire me to do anything. While I did appreciate the beautiful places, culture, and people I don’t feel qualified to say I’ve had my “AHA!” moment.

Some candidates write about a near-death experience they’ve had. I can’t come close to that but I was hospitalized for a few days over the summer with a series of mysterious ailments. As if on an episode of “House”, I lay in a hospital bed void of the advantage of House’s brilliant medical team. After suffering a severe migraine, the left side of my brain completely shut down. When the doctors asked if I was in pain, I would respond in numbers. Sure I can say that I’ve experienced a miracle, but I don’t feel like dedicating an essay to it because it hasn’t changed me in anyway.

Despite my experiences, I am still having difficulty figuring out what to write for my college essay. When I think about myself, I feel like I’m interesting and different; However , when I try to write a college essay I don’t feel different. My friends have chosen to write about how sports have inspired them and how they’ve done some bad things and have turned their lives around. Unfortunately for me, I have never been arrested or struggled with drug abuse. If I had, this essay would have never been created.

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