Avoid references to perfection.

Some of the most tired, overused phrases we see in essays is that of “striving for perfection,” “perfecting my skills,” etc. Leave perfection alone – you’re never going to achieve it. No one ever does. And even if they did, no one would recognize it. This may seem like nitpicking, but there’s already too much emphasis on perfection today. Do the best you can, and be proud of the level at which you arrive. Musing about your pursuit of or brushes with “perfection,” however, has been known to arouse a snicker in more than a few judges over time. Remember, “nobody’s perfect,” and it’s going to stay that way for a long time.

But of course, you’re still striving; after all, the law of the jungle says that the moment you stop moving is the moment you get eaten, right? Fair enough, and you definitely ought to be talking about this in your application. Just adjust your language to indicate that you’re trying to be all you can be, to fulfill your potential, to use your talents to the fullest, etc. — rather than trying to be “perfect.”

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