With deadlines looming (hello UNC Early Action on October 15th), Essay Angst is beginning to reach epidemic proportions in the Queen City. What starts with mild symptoms in the junior year of high school, slowly builds over the summer and by fall it’s a full blown contagion.
The kids are stressed, too.
“I have nothing to say.”
“I haven’t done anything interesting.”
“I can’t write well.”
Did y’all see my college application from 1988? Talk about someone who didn’t do much (at least compared to students today)….geesh. Shout out to the Gettysburg College admissions department for the acceptance letter!
Writers are tortured souls for a reason – it is hard work to write from the heart. College essays, the great ones, reach far beyond the list of clubs and service hours, past the cliche life lessons and reveal a small peek into what makes every student remarkable and authentic.
This isn’t just another task to check off like sending a transcript to a school. It isn’t a history essay about the expansion of the Arab empire in the 7th century.
Bribes of candy and snacks help the creative juices start to flow but more than anything kids need help seeing who they are, what they have done and how amazing their lives have already been.
Three tips for seniors
Be amazed by yourself and where your school career has led you.
Go ahead, brag.
Tell your story.
Three tips for juniors
Write down your thoughts and feelings about anything.
Find a passion and do something with it.
Read a book a quarter for enjoyment.
I believe that at the end of the college application process, when a student is holding the acceptance letter wearing their school’s sweatshirt with a decal on the car, a student should feel proud. Proud of all of the hard work and dedication it took to get to that point. Proud of who they are. And proud of what they learned about themselves by going through the process.