Your essay is only one part of your application and at many schools it plays an important role in making their admission decisions. The college admissions counselor will be looking over your entire application; your essay, grades, activities, curriculum, etc. and creating an academic and personal profile of you from which they will make their admission decision. Your essay allows you create a truly unique picture of yourself, so make sure it communicates your thoughts and experiences.
Write with emotion and passion, even if it seems silly to you. You want the reader to stop and think, WOW. Not a WOW because you did something no one else has even done or you ran a 4-minute mile. But a WOW because you demonstrate in your essay that you are a thinker, have interests that matter to you, are a person who wants to learn, knows you have much to learn and are excited to learn.
...provides the opportunity to add clarity, richness, and meaning to the information collected in the other parts of your application by writing about characteristics and personality traits that aren’t evident in the GPA, test scores or curriculum.
...will distinguish you from other applicants whose academic records are quite similar.
Show Your Personality
The admissions counselor reading your essay wants to hear about you, but in a way, that goes beyond simply describing your experiences and activities and instead has caused you to reflect and learn. They want to read about things that have meaning to you.
A good admissions reader (assuming all admission counselors are good readers) look for your personality to shine in a way that your academic records, test scores, etc. can’t.