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Just how to Ignore College Application Essay Hype

Just how to Ignore College Application Essay Hype

Many of you are already out for summer, or at the finishing line. Yippee!!

If you’re now officially an incoming high school senior, or soon becoming, it’s time to get cranking on your own college application essay.

I’m sure you have heard that summer is the ideal time to start the brainstorming and writing process. When you can get them all done before the start of your senior year, all the better.

You most likely have heard these essays can be vital to your college acceptance chances.

Yes, it’s true they can matter, and sometimes tip the scales in your favor. No doubt it’s worth putting in significant time and effort to them.

But i really believe it’s important not to fall for all the hype and madness around this application process.

I am aware when I’m stressed or anxious, my creative juices quickly shrivel up.

Once you start reading about college application essays on the Web, you most likely will find advice that uses intimidating words, such as ‘transformational’ and ‘differentiating.’ So-called experts like to say things like how it’s vital to ‘Be yourself’ in your essay, and how these are your ‘Chance to shine.’

They’ren’t wrong, necessarily. But all the ballyhoo isn’t very helpful if all you want to know is how and where to start, and what topic to write about, and how to craft it into a effective essay.

When you hear that a killer essay is one that shows you ‘transforming yourself,’ that’s quite a directive. It means you had some type of dramatic change in your life, whether it was physical, emotional or even spiritual.

If you had that type of experience, good for you. Also it could make a solid topic.

Most of us, nonetheless, by age 16 or 17 or even later, have not experienced that type of radical metamorphosis. So is it possible to still write a great essay?


What I have found working with students on these essays and the seek out the holy grail topic, is that the simple, everyday ‘mundane’ ones usually work best. Same goes for life changes. They don’t have to be profound to be interesting and meaningful.

For instance, if you are rooting around for an interesting topic, and reflecting on methods you have changed in recent years, try to find the smaller changes. Try to find shifts, adjustments, alterations, smaller movements in your life. I believe the most interesting shifts can be found in your thinking, especially if you learned anything new or unexpected, or saw anything in a different light or context.thesis statement for discrimination

The idea is that your essay topic doesn’t have to be about a momentous change in your life. Instead, recall moments, incidents or experiences that happened in your recent past (high school years are best), and determine if everything changed or shifted in your thinking (about yourself, about others or about the world) in the process of dealing with whatever went down.

That takes off the pressure to have experienced a radical life experience where you were someone, and then anything happened, and instantly you were a entirely different person. That rarely happens. Instead, brainstorm those everyday moments or ‘times,’ and explore how your thinking changed. Even better, think about how what you cared about changed. Hint: those are called your values.

Colleges love to not only get a sense of your unique personalities in these essays, nevertheless they value seeing the method that you think, feel and behave, and what you value and learn, in these essays. You can write a ‘transformational’ essay without having changed from a bad person to a good person, or a shy person to an outgoing person, etc.

You are changing all the time, and it can be hard to notice at this time. Take a little time to think of things that have happened for your requirements, and more time to examine the method that you responded to them. Another hint: best place to find interesting moments are those that involved problems.

Even if you are following me to date, you most likely are wondering what you do once you think of many of these personal changes or shifts, and how to spin them in to a piece of writing.

I have written posts all over my Essay Hell blog on exactly what to accomplish, and I also spell it out in my own popular writing guide, Escape Essay Hell, and in my online writing bootcamp. I’m also walking students through this technique in my own Jumpstart webinars, which started this month. The next one is this Saturday, at 10 a.m., West Coast time, and I will have several more this month.

So many ways to get started on these essays. Pick one and acquire going!

I hope you are hearing my main point in this post: Don’t get freaked out by all the hype in what these essays are all about.

Like all the millions of students that have gone into Essay Hell before you, additionally, you will find a topic and write a killer essay! Just buckle down at some point this summer, read up on what they are all about, pick what resources you think will allow you to the most effective, and you will find they aren’t that freaky after all.

I’m back! Haven’t posted for many months.I don’t know about you, but the recent college admission scandal gave me a total gut punch. All these rich men and women buying and cheating their way into colleges. Disgusting.

( in the event you don’t know what I’m speaking about, read this: They Had It Coming from The Atlantic.)I did some soul-searching about my own role as an essay writing coach in this crazy college admissions industry. The unfair stress on kids, the insane antics of desperate parents and the toxic collusion of privilege and education.

Living in affluent Laguna Beach, California, the final 23 years, where several of the 33 parents charged in this scandal are from, I’ve worked with my share of oblivious, entitled parents. Most of the mothers and fathers, nonetheless, have already been good men and women trying to accomplish what they thought best for their kids and I tried to focus on them.

When I learned about this scandal, and the sleazy college admissions counselor from nearby Newport Beach which masterminded the complete scam, I seriously considered quitting my Essay Hell business. It was too hard to ignore the sullied admissions world. When anyone asked me what I did for a living, I was embarrassed to tell them. And still are. Maybe I could start a dog-walking service or drive school bus.

Into the decade I have worked with students among others on these essays, I tried to stay beyond your admissions frenzy and resisted the networking scene among the related industry ‘players.’ I stuck to working with individual students, and coaching groups of teachers, counselors among others so they could help students learn how to write essays that were effective and meaningful. And also become better writers in the process! How could that be described as a bad thing?

My goal was to empower students with specific writing methods and recommendations so they could find their unique stories and tell them in an engaging and meaningful narrative style. I did not make an effort to game the system, or encourage gimmicks or shortcuts. And of course never published essays for students. (i am aware, I sound defensive. Guess I am a bit.)

Based on the feedback from students, parents among others over the years, nearly all of those who did the dedication published outstanding essays and got into terrific schools. No cheating. No influencers. No bribes. ( As far as I know. Sheesh!)

In the past, I charged a bundle for private hour-long tutoring sessions. I justified it because I’m good at what I do, possess a lot of professional experience and thought my fees should reflect my value.

But charging $200 an hour for one-on-one coaching did put me into the hot seat of giving the most privileged students and families an edge into the admissions game. No denying that.

And so I’m finished with that for the time being. Now I’m in the process of revamping my services in order that I can make my tutoring more accessible and feasible to all or any students. And I believe they can be equally effective and helpful.

The New Plan: Affordable (and FREE!) Webinars!

Here’s my plan. I’m still offering in-person and online essay-writing training workshops to groups of teachers, counselors and students. But no more private sessions, at least for now. And I intend to only offer editing services to students which start with my Jumpstart webinars and are regarding the right track from the get-go. (i really believe that prevents too much intervention on my part, to keep it fair.)

Instead, I’m about to offer my college application essay writing instruction and advice through group workshops online (webinars via YouTube Live) and keep them relatively cheap and simple. And I’m offering both my Jumpstart webinars absolve to those who can’t afford them.

Starting soon (June 15 first one!), I will offer hourlong online Webinar Jumpstart sessions. They will cost $30 each.

All webinars will also include usage of my popular online College Application Essay Writing Course, which has 11 videos, handouts and ALL my essay writing guides about it (Escape Essay Hell and Heavenly Essays). This will be FREE (currently charge $99 just for the course!)

At first, these online workshops (webinars) will feature my trademark Jumpstart process, where I quickly help students understand what makes a great essay, and then step them by way of a step-by-step brainstorming process to spot killer topics, in addition to just how to structure their drafts. The idea is always to help you get launched!

As summer gets rolling into fall, I will offer other follow-up workshops topics, such as for example just how to Write the University of California Essays, just how to Write the Most Common Supplemental Essays, How to Self Edit and Bump Up Essays, etc.

If this works out, I like to believe that any or all students can get plenty of great inspiration and path on the best way to write their essays ALL of them for around $100 or less. Some might only need one workshop, and they are off.

I also are offering my webinars, and the included online writing bootcamp (that includes my writing guides), absolve to all students who’re underprivileged or underserved, in addition to teachers, counselors, parents among others which work with them. Just email me and let me know your name, school, city/state, and background: EssayHell@gmail.com. I am going to send you the 100-percent-off discount code to purchase a webinar.

I might love to hear from you if my new approach sounds fair and a good way to get help on these essays. You can also come up with your own group for a custom webinar if these dates don’t do the job. Please leave reviews, a few ideas and questions into the comment section below. Or email me directly at: EssayHell@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading this. I hope I don’t sound like a martyr or that I’m looking praise for these changes. They are mainly so that I feel good in what I’m doing, and thought i might make an effort to explain the reason behind them.

So stay tuned!

Don’t worry about your essays and your future! You got this! And I hope I get the opportunity to help you.