Most college applications allow students a lot of freedom to choose a topic. Unfortunately, this freedom often leads to confusion. Worse still, it may even lead to bad choices. Choosing a bad topic for your college application essay can have disastrous consequences.
While it is true that a masterful writer can make any topic work, very few students are that talented and hence they should steer clear of bad topics.
Here is an overview of three ‘bad’ essay topics that may cause your essay to end up in the rejection pile.
Of course, substance abuse is a big problem that nearly every campus has to deal with. Ask any professor and they will tell you numerous stories of bright students who ruined their life and career because of their addiction to drugs. Even if you have had problems with drugs in the past, your essay is not the right place to discuss it. You may have recovered from the problem and you might even think that your story will be an inspiration to others who might be struggling with drug addiction. While this may be true to some extent drawing attention to your use of illegal substances in your essay will do you no good. Remember that no college will willingly admit a drug addict. Even if you have recovered from the problem, the fact that you had a ‘bad’ past will work against you.
Yes, sex is a bad topic for your essay. The admissions officers are not interested in knowing whether you have an interesting sex life or not. In addition, many people are not comfortable reading an essay on a ‘taboo’ topic like this. You should not write about something that might be too embarrassing for your reader.
The fact that you had a run-in with the law doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be a bad student. In fact many successful students have spent time in jail. However, it is not something you should write about in your essay. The admissions officers want to make the campus a safe place, so if you have such a history you may find it difficult to get admission.