Tomorrow I start coaching my first students of the 2014-15 College App season. It may seem early, but I’m thrilled that they’re getting a head start and will have — at least — their 650-word, Common App essay completed before the hectic senior year starts. Most of my students are so used to scripted writing with very specific expectations — think AP exams and DBQ’s — that they don’t realize they can have fun with their college essays.
Writing your college essay should be a process filled with insight and the joy of “getting all the lovely words just right,” as dear old Professor Cronin used to say. The essay can be a pause in the academic rush, a moment to take a breath and reflect on who you are and who you want to be. All colleges want students who are capable of reflection and growth. All colleges want students who can identify and share the moments that define them.
It is an honor to coach my students to express such true and lovely words.