College Essays – more than > less than

As this application year winds down, I have spent some time thinking about the hundreds of essays I have assisted students with this year. I have seen some start out rivaling an adult professional writing piece to some that looked like a 4th grade tale of an outing with friends. Believe it or not, there is a reason for this vast difference in quality and it’s not writing skills — it’s experiences.

What I want to share is, start early. Students who volunteer a lot, travel a lot (doesn’t have be costly, join clubs and build into their community learn more about themselves, develop lifelong skills and create compelling stories.

I now suggest, to the students I get prior to end of Junior year, to keep a journal and every time they volunteer or travel or life situations knock them for a loop, to write a short entry on it. Students should include what, where, when, how they feel about it and if it impacted them in any way. Lastly, if appropriate, what they did in response.

If students keep these response essays in a folder, come college application essay time senior year, they will find it much easier to have great topics and memories (with feeling attached) to pull from.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s