The people reading your essays are regular human beings, which means you should write with that in mind. A good way to check your tone is to read your essays out loud. No, not in your head, out loud. Read them to a friend, parent, sibling, whatever, and if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable by the style, then you should change it. This doesn’t mean you should add in colloquial filler words like like, um, and uh, but it means that the essay should flow smoothly enough that you feel comfortable reading it out loud in front of someone you don’t know very well (don’t actually do that, but you should feel good enough to).
There is a real disconnect between what Admission Committee Representatives in the Info Sessions say they are looking for and these essay topics. College Reps say they would like to know something interesting about you that isn’t revealed in your application. Your essay is supposed to add “texture” to your application. These new essay topics will produce really boring essays, with many students beating their own chests or writing sad tales about a death in the family or another type of loss. Bring back the topic of choice!