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Kids and Application Essays

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by doctorquant, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Watching my son, a senior in high school, wrestling with his application essays is pretty close to fingernails-on-a-chalkboard material for me. His "stretch" school* requires two, and although he's had the first done for weeks, he's fighting serious writer's block on the second. And, of course, the application deadline is December 1 (less than a week away).

    Last night I said, "Look, just write something. You can always rewrite, but you have to write something." To which he replied, "Dad, you don't know how hard this is." My response was along the lines of, "Listen, you doofus, when I was still a sports writer sometimes I had to crank out two, maybe three thousand words in a couple of hours. You don't have time to do perfect. Do acceptable. Do barely acceptable. There's always tomorrow for editing."

    He got 650 words down, but I'll be on his ass like white on rice tonight, too.

    Do the rest of you, especially you former writers, find such scenarios as tormenting as I do?

    *He has almost no chance of admittance there as a freshman, but he has a very good chance of being accepted into that school's automatic transfer (as a sophomore) program. The rub is he has to apply for freshman admission and be directed to this program by the school.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    But think of it this way, dq -- when you were a sportswriter cranking out all those words, if the deadline was Dec. 1 you'd still be "writing it in your head" until the morning of Nov. 30.
  3. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    I never finished my application for entrance to Wake Forest, where I'd visited, interviewed and probably would have been accepted, because by that point I was burned out on application essays. It never occurred to me to save the other ones I'd written and just combine all the salient points from them into my WFU essay.

    Was accepted elsewhere, about four hours closer to home than WFU, and enjoyed my four years in college.

    Friggin' essays. Filled many a blue book during one-question finals in history classes.
  4. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Some brilliant people can't write for shit. Most of us can write something we would consider to be mediocre and it would be better than 95 percent of what everybody else does. It doesn't mean we're anything special, it just happens to be where our strengths are.

    I would have him write it, then you edit it and offer advice. Don't do it for him, but steer him in the right direction. I know that's easier said than done with teenagers, but I've met more than my share of people who, no matter how smart they are, they can't do what comes easily to most of us.
  5. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    I don't recall writing any essays to get into college. Maybe I did, but I can't remember.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    If admitt I thought that I be assach to Florida state seamanol. I like girls and football. I also like to
    eat. My favor food is crableg but they are berry exspansive. I want to major in crimemenal justice with a
    minor in marine bioligy.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Following up to close out the story (sorry, I know ... lots of personal narratives from your humble correspondent of late). Doofus son (OK, not quite the doofus, apparently) went 3-for-3 on acceptances, with the final one coming in from the stretch school via email on Saturday. He and I'd gone down a couple of weeks ago for his audition -- he wants to major in music (cello) or music education -- and it evidently went better than he'd thought.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member


    Probably the key was that he stayed out of volleyball forever.
  9. Wenders

    Wenders Well-Known Member

    DQ, the good news is, music people don't have to write. My friend went through a very similar writer's block when she was starting on her Master's thesis in Music Composition. She was struggling and finally I told her to write it and I would go back through it and make it sound pretty for her. She passed, so that's a good reflection on both of us.
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