The Insight on Essays: Tips for Starting Your Admission Essay Today

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The application process can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. Many applicants may feel a sense of overwhelm with one part in particular: the essay. The intention of the essay is to provide insight and a fuller picture of who you are beyond the application page. When you’re ready to get started, consider these insights and tips from members of the New Hampton School faculty. 

What do you learn about the applicant as a person?

“The essay is a space for the admission office to get to know you beyond your transcript,” says Maggie Gilman, Director of College Counseling at New Hampton School. The essay is where you can personalize your story, be authentic and genuine, and show your passion and creativity to the admission office.    

What does your essay say about the type of community member the school is getting?

Finding the right fit goes both ways for the student and the school. Consider writing about your character. Write about subjects that you believe are valuable and explain how your worldview has shaped those opinions. Admission Offices want to know how the student thinks and processes their opinions.   

Get advice from teachers on writing your admission essay.

Show…don’t tell!

Students often struggle the most when they are detailing an impactful moment or event in their essay. “Examples and detail are important when writing an essay or telling a story,” shares Luke Tobin, English Department Chair. “Imagery helps bring your writing closer to the audience because it appeals to the reader’s senses.” 

If you are aiming to convey an emotion or a feeling to your reader, give imagery and details that come with that experience. For example, if you are detailing fear, don’t simply write that you were scared.  

“The sweat began to freeze on my neck and back as the sun dipped below the mountains. My shirt suddenly felt heavy and stiff. The map blurred and crinkled in my shaking hands. I frantically retraced my steps, my heartbeat echoing in my ears. I must find a way back to that cabin, and fast.”  

“This is the space where you get to show your personal side,” adds Gilman. Try to have fun and learn more about yourself!  

It’s time to get started

The New Hampton School application is due February 1. You have time. Try out a prompt and have fun with it. You can choose to work on one a month or all at once—whatever works best for you!

Questions about the application process? Reach out to your admission counselor or to get all the answers you need.

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