Students who are serious about applying to ultra-selective schools need to affirmatively articulate - first to themselves, then to the colleges - reasons why schools should want to welcome them. Even so, no one gets in to ultra-selective without a little luck. "Reach" schools are reaches for everyone.
Just as in sports, where you warm up before actually playing, it's a really good idea to "warm up" before sitting down to work on your college essays. By gradually preparing your mind and body for the more vigorous activity ahead, you'll put yourself in the right space to maximize the quality of your essay-writing session. So here are some tips on how you can create a good writing warm-up for yourself.