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5 Things Beyoncé Can Teach Us About The College Admissions Essay

She is always on beat in all things. Really, what can't she do? You may be thinking, "She definitely can't write a killer college application essay." You would be wrong.

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1. Identify and own your strengths

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If the 7/11 video queen knows anything, it’s that she can dance (and we suspect she knows much, much more than that). She showcases her talent by DOING, rather than talking. Many of us may fear that writing a boastful (or humblebrag-ful) college essay will turn off admissions officers, but there is a way to showcase your talents without simply listing them: use them! If you think you’re funny, infuse your essay with humor. If you’re good at science, narrate an exciting accomplishment or discovery from beginning to end. I, personally, would write mine in the form of a numbered list. At the end of the day: show, don’t tell.

2. Don't over-promise

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Okay, we all saw what happened when Bey teased a ~*~*big announcement*~*~ and then gave us dieting tips. The entire internet turned into a giant frowny face. To avoid a similar let-down on your admissions essay, remember that authenticity is key. We shouldn’t even have to say this, but: if you haven’t done a thing, don’t say that you did it. If you haven’t, for example, ever been to Peru, don’t write about how exploring Machu Picchu changed your life. You will write a better, more believable story if you represent yourself honestly and fill your story with actual details from your actual memory.

3. Choose your collaborators wisely

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From Jay to Nicki (to now, apparently, Madonna), Beyoncé carefully curates the list of people with whom she shares her talents. When writing a college essay, you too can can channel the power of killer collaborations: solicit and accept help from a select few people you trust (particularly parents, teachers, and other guardians or mentors) to provide feedback with an outside perspective and sense of style. Be exclusive though: you are worth it!

4. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE

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Who are we to say whether or not Bey copped the lyrics for XO from another artist? We don’t want to believe it, but here’s a lesson we have all learned from this experience: no one, NOT EVEN BEYONCE, is above scrutiny. How do you protect yourself from accusations of plagiarism? Stay true to yourself and write YOUR OWN story YOURSELF. Even if you think Eudora Welty said it better or David Sedaris is funnier than you (or your BFF4LYF won’t notice if you steal the draft of their essay that they trusted you to read), your essay will be at its very best when it is written in your voice and from your own experiences. DON’T LET THE STRESS MONSTER GET YOU! Remember what we said about owning your strengths? Well guess what: we all have them.

5. Aim for flawless

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It’s true, not all of our drafts #wokeuplikethis, but taking the extra time to proofread and scrub your essay clean of all errors places a finishing touch on your work that shows admissions you care. In the end, sincerity makes an essay magical – almost as magical as this candid dressing room performance. (Remember this? You’re welcome.)

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