Attn Juniors: Start Your Essays

Nov 1st, 2013 | College Admissions, High school, New York Times, Undergrad


You’ve got a few months off which means, yes, more work. But trust us, you want to do it now before the chaos of senior year takes over your life.

Here are six tips from the NYT’s Choice blog for working on your college essay over the summer:

1. Clear your head. Find some solitude and have a good think.

2. Ask yourself exploratory questions in order to find your essay topic. E.g. What has been the hardest thing I have ever had to face? What is the reason I wake up in the morning? etc.

3. Write it down. Wherever you go, carry a pen and paper in case inspiration strikes.

4. Learn how to tell a story. Your essay should be a story rather than a dry explanation–you want to keep those admissions counselors engaged.

5. Chill. This is summer, remember, so put down the laptop and go outside for a few hours.

6. Own your essay. Don’t let anyone else write it for you; colleges want to hear yourvoice. If you think of your essay as a means of self-expression, you might even have some fun.

And the best piece of college essay-related advice your faithful blogger has: Don’t start by trying to answer their question, whatever it is. Start by figuring out what you want to tell colleges about yourself–then, adapt it to the specific prompt. Good luck, and happy writing! (If you’re in the Seattle area and need help, check us out!)