After a fun-filled month of rooting for the Red Sox at Fenway, reading novels on sandy beaches, enduring frigid AC conditions while watching summer blockbusters, and savoring finger-licking barbecue, it’s the end of July. While we still have a whole other month of summer, tomorrow marks the end of our July Advisory Day Program. For those not on Twitter, July Advisory Days occurs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the month. On these days we offer a short session on how to plan for the college interview, as well as some tips for the Common App essay. If you are able, please come join us tomorrow, July 29th!
Although we have received an incredible number of visitors this month, I recognize that some interested students are not able to visit campus during the summer. To that end, I wanted to mention some of the takeaways of the essay part of the program. Below is some essay-writing advice that I hope you find helpful:
1. Although the Regular Decision deadline to apply is January 15th and it may seem as though you have loads of time to write, you should start now! August 1st is the day the Common App goes live–did you mark your calendars?–so please do create an account and check out the questions. August is a great month to explore topics, perhaps get a few words down on paper, and get your creative gears in motion!
2. Know that the first essay you write may not be the essay you submit. It might be. But it probably won’t…and that is okay! You will likely have a number of great topics from which to choose, and you should absolutely consider writing a few different essays. In this way, you will have some options before deciding on the one that you think best demonstrates your writing abilities and tells us more about who you are. Furthermore, please be sure to ask people you trust (including friends, family, and teachers/advisers) to offer constructive criticism. They should be people who will be able to give you the honest feedback you need, as well as help you catch any errors in grammar or syntax.
3. Be sure you are sharing your story. I can’t tell you how many wonderfully written essays I have read that talk about applicants’ loving family members, supportive friends, or amazing mentors…but then the essays don’t have enough about the applicant. Remember that you are the one applying, and thus you are the person who we want to get to know! As difficult as it can be at times to turn your focus inward, please write about yourself. The essay is the one part of your application that is completely within your control, so please make it count.
Enjoy the last weeks of summer!