Why write my essay now? It’s summer!
What rising high school senior hasn’t asked this question at the end of the highly pressured junior year? Completing high level courses, perhaps AP or honors, taking ACT or SAT tests, visiting colleges… add in a sport or school play, community service: this has been a busy year.
Can’t I take a break?
Of course, a breather is important and should be part of a college-bound student’s summer. Spending some time with friends and enjoying a break from schoolwork are necessary to recharge a student’s batteries.
But targeting the brainstorming, organization and writing of the Comm App essay and the supplemental essays should be part of a rising senior’s summer activities, — even if it’s done under a beach umbrella with a cold soda.
As I mentioned in two previous articles (see below) the essay on the Common Application can make a critical difference in a student being admitted to college: college admissions officers do read these essays. This is an opportunity to stand out and become a singular individual, much more than grades, standardized test scores and extracurricular activities. A student who reveals his/her thoughts, beliefs or personal history in an essay becomes more than the numbers on a transcript.
Crafting a personal essay in a thoughtful, creative way takes time: time for reflection, brainstorming, writing and careful editing. Trying to cram the Comm App essay and the supplemental essays into the fall of senior year will likely add pressure to a generally hectic time.
The age-old adage “the early bird gets the worm” really applies in this situation. Completing the major essay and supplements during the summer frees up the fall for college visits, early admissions or rolling admissions — and can make the critical difference for a student finding a place in a college of his/her choice.
Write the essays this summer and increase your odds — maybe even win the jackpot!
Check back soon for new articles on writing, speech coaching, executive function skills and speech pathology.