What is Grit?

The Admittedly Team
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Grit has become a total buzzword in all things college admissions.

A couple of years ago it was all about leadership, then it was all about passion, and now college admissions officers are really looking for “grit” in your application.

But what exactly is grit?

It basically means that you want to somehow show that things haven't always come easy for you.

Think: “the struggle is real” but for real.

If you really do feel like things have come easy to you and you really haven’t struggled with much during your life, then you obviously don’t want to invent something.

And you definitely do not want to make something that wasn’t really a struggle (i.e. you didn’t get the class you wanted) into something bigger than it is because that is the opposite of gritty.

Grit is a great theme for your college essay as it shows that you didn’t give up in the face of adversity and that you’re determined to succeed regardless of the obstacles you face.

It also shows a lot about your character and can even translate into bravery and confidence.

So if things haven’t gone according to plan and you’ve seen your share of bumps along the road throughout high school, don’t be afraid to embrace them and show colleges what you’ve learned as a result of these challenges.

A couple of “grit” topics to avoid in your college essays are things that are super common (like your parents getting divorced). Sadly more than 50% of couples get divorced, so it is more likely that other applicants’ parents are divorced as well.

When thinking about whether your experience is something worthy of including in your college essay, ask yourself whether that experience differentiates you from other applicants or if it is actually a common occurrence (i.e. failing your road test, not making your sports team).

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