Monday, October 19, 2015

College Application Season: You'll get it done

High school students are starting - and finishing early! - their college applications and personal statements.

Ok, many are waiting until the last minute and are still frozen with anxiety.

Deep breath, folks. It will all get done. It must and it will.

Early applications are due as early as Nov. 1st. If you haven't started drafting your personal statement yet, start brainstorming now. What experiences in life influenced you? What would you love to do next?

Here's a three part starter prompt for almost any essay prompt: 
Take out a piece of paper and write down your most important moments. Then, write another list of what you wish to have happen. Finally, think about how experiences in college might be able to connect the two. This final step, in which you analyze and draw conclusions about your experiences and goals is the most important part of your essay.

Are you expected to know exactly who you will be in college? Of course not. (If you knew everything, why even go to college?) Do the college essay prompts suggest that you should? Unfortunately, yes. Focus on doing your best to present yourself clearly and fairly. It is expected that the classroom and campus learning experiences during college will change you, but you should have some insight into your experiences up to this point.

Believe in what you write and think at this point in our life. Try your hardest not to second guess yourself. No one at graduation will hold up your application essay and demand to know why you changed your mind after four years.

Give yourself some time each day to brainstorm, write and then edit and revise your essay. Read it first thing each morning, return to work on it in the afternoon and then read it again before you go to sleep. The time between drafts and the time thinking about it both actively and passively will help you to develop a clear essay.

You might also be interested in these posts:
Brainstorming Identity for your Personal Statement: Who are you?
College Application Essays: Think Inside Your Box
Valuing the Creative Side: Thoughts from Harvard Admissions

Need some one-on-one help? I'm available to work with you on your personal statement as your private writing coach. For more about my services, please see this link

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