1. To reveal key qualities, talents, values of YOU—to show them something significant.
PROBLEM: you cannot show them everything! If you try to show them everything, your essay will be guaranteed to stink from a mile away. It will be cluttered and superficial. The essay should not TELL the reader stuff. The rest of your application does that.
SOLUTION: what you choose to show them has to reveal something important, something typical of you—something that can almost function as a metaphor for what you’re about. Obviously, you have to choose your topic very carefully.
2. To show your intellect at work. A college essay is an opportunity to demonstrate how your brain takes things apart and puts them together (this includes such things as the size of your vision, your ability to work with the abstract, etc.).
3. To convey a REAL PERSON—someone they feel they have met, someone they care about, someone they MUST have on their college campus. (In other words, VOICE is extremely important!) When someone reads your writing, they should hear you talking to them; your actual personality should come into it. Our goal is for you to walk out with an essay that no one else could possibly write!
When you first arrive at boot camp, one of the first things you’ll learn is that Marine Corps terminology is a little different than at home. At boot camp, and throughout your military careers, you’ll be expected to use the “correct” Marine Corps words. Don’t say window, say port hole. Don’t say hat, say cover. There’s a bunch of Marine Corps terminology that you’ll learn in boot camp. Get a head start on that before you go so that you don’t slip up and end up forcing you and your platoon to do more push ups.