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Some College Essay Clichés

Clichés, or tired and overused expressions, should always be eliminated from your admissions essay. They are often vague, losing the reader's attention and suggesting that the writer has not closely examined the situation for him or herself. Recognizing clichés becomes easier as you get older—in the meantime, make sure you aren't using any of the phrases on this list, or phrases that sound like they could be on this list.

I learned not to take anything for granted
the knowledge I will gain from an education at your college will provide me with
be able to give back to the community
make a difference (in someone's life)
make my place in the world
enjoy life to the fullest
defeat (or overcome, survive, etc...) obstacles
give back to the world
struggle to overcome
this experience taught me (the value of)
given me the opportunity to
I was determined to continue on
will give me the edge I need
will help me be successful
the path ahead
lose (or keep) sight of my goals
change the world
my passion for _________
the knowledge to help others
I still remember that day
I would never be quite the same again
battling for my life
people from all walks of life
from this mistake I learned
a sense of awe spread over me
make my dreams a reality
living life one day at a time
the irony of it all
questions rushed (or flew, raced, etc...) through my mind (or brain)
to the best of my ability
I worked morning, day, and night
life can change at any moment
temporary setback
perseverance pays off
life has its ups and downs
shed some light on (the situation)
at the tender age of
exacerbate the situation
I learned the value of
appreciate diversity
outside my comfort zone
college will be a steppingstone
I want to experience as much as possible
find (found) my true identity
a life-changing experience

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