When working in admissions it used to drive me crazy when I saw students emailing me using shorthand texting lingo. Emails full of smiley faces, LOL, and TTYL. Then, even worse, it started to seep into their college essays.
Now, as an educational consultant I try to remind my students that while shorthand is great for text conversations, colleges are looking to see your actual writing skills. While it may be easier to use an “&” than actually spell out “and”, to the reader it may seem as though you are just trying to save time and aren’t really taking their essay seriously.
While your college essay doesn’t have to read like a paper for your AP class, you should still take the time to use proper punctuation, capitalization of letters, and avoid the slang you use daily on your phone and social media.
Of course, when it comes to college admissions, there always seems to be an exception. This is no different. Some colleges this year are specifically asking short answer questions on their supplement requesting they be written like a Twitter post in a maximum of 150 characters. You may need some shorthand there…