Posts tagged with "Common App Essay"

De-Stress with My Free College Essays Talk!

admission imageMy annual free talk on How to Write YOUR College Essays will be on 5/22 at 7:30 pm at Arlington Central Library in Arlington, Virginia. Last year I had 114 people come, so please come early if you want a seat! My talk is ideal for rising juniors and their parents, and you’re guaranteed to leave less stressed and more excited about the process.

I will cover what college admission officers are looking for in the essays and how the essays fit into your overall application. I’ll also stress the importance of hooks in any personal essay and share tips on how to make your essay shine. We’ll unpack several examples of strong hooks from both my students and essays shared by colleges or new organizations.

Hope to see you there!

Interested in pursuing a STEM career?

The blog, Collegewise ,which is written by professional college consultants, can be a great source of information and sanity for students approaching college and their parents. I haven’t read the whole guide (here) — my kids haven’t leaned toward STEM careers so far — but it looks very thorough and helpful.

Also, I will be coaching rising seniors over the summer on their college essays. Getting the largest one — the 650 word Common App essay — done over the summer is a fabulous idea and will significantly reduce your first semester stress.  Email me or send me a message to find out more or reserve a date.  I promise it won’t hurt.

Happy writing!

Socrates and the College App Essay

True Confession:  I was a Great Books major; ergo, one of my favorite quotes is from Socrates.  “The unexamined life is not worth living,” he said at his own trial.  I frequently share this quotation with my students in essay coaching sessions.

Why?  Because I want my students to see that self-examination is a major point of the college essay.  While college admissions officers certainly look at scores and grades and recommendations, they ultimately want to know that the applicant is someone who has experiences and learns from those experiences.  You might be the youngest person to have climbed Mount Everest, or you may have tutored lepers in India, but if you didn’t learn anything about yourself and the world, those experiences are meaningless.  If you can’t articulate who you are and who you want to be, your essay won’t be meaningful or convincing to a college admissions officer.

Applicants to college aren’t expected to have all the answers, but they should be able to pose important questions they’re not afraid to ask, such as why is my life worth living?  What do I value?  What valuable skills or attitude or aptitude will I bring to this college?

Writing an excellent college application essay is a truly introspective process.  Not only do the applicants have to choose a significant story, accomplishment, or place, they also have to share how that experience reverberates through their lives.  They need to examine their lives past, present, and future.  I am always happy to share the timeless wisdom of Socrates.