However, the most relieved and relaxed were their parents, because they had one less battle with their senior. When it’s your son or daughter’s final year living at home, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting over the college essay or telling them “it’s not quite there yet.”
When I coach, I do a lot of encouraging, but I also speak truth to my students. If an essay or short answer needs a rewrite or some tweaking, I make them do it. If that last line isn’t quite right yet, I ask them to try again. If a point isn’t crystal clear, I ask them to clarify it.
And they do it. Why? In part, because I’m not their parent. They take my comments seriously, because I know what I’m talking about, and they know that, too. Rarely have they had someone take their writing this seriously.
My last round of students learned a lot about sensory details and the power of anecdote, about verb consistency and hooks, and about coherence and unity in an essay. They’ve also learned that good writing is a challenge that they can meet. I’m so proud of the wonderful essays my students wrote, and I know the admissions officers will be wowed, too.