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Patch Blog: College Advising--Starting Your College Essay

The advantages of writing the college essay early.

Every fall, we see stress on the faces of some of our last minute clients. “I just can't get started,” they say. “I don't know what to write,” they moan. This is a problem that’s easily solved. Let's put those suffering students into our Time Machine. We’ll set the dial for three months ago and then flick the switch. Zip, Zap! We're back to a time when colors were bright, laughter filled the air, and application stress didn’t exist yet because we weren’t thinking about any of it. Smile and sigh.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your essays ready before college application time? We suggest starting now with a composition book, something colorful that defines you.  Then, come up with a few easy topics. By “easy topics,” we mean that they are inviting and yet deep.  Since this is still early, write about something that will get you started. A sentence will do. Make it a compound sentence. Develop it into a zippy paragraph. Then go on. Short, happy, or deep and proud. Get a start then leave it hanging. Promise to come back later, maybe in a week.

If you start now, you‘ll have a notebook full of "starts,” ready for any topic for any application to any school.  You're warmed up and practiced. Good writing is best made incrementally, through a series of small steps. By writing "short takes" for a few months, you will find your longer essays become cohesive, poetic, and maybe even poignant.

Here are a few short topic titles from the Yale application that are good for any warm-up notebook. Try them now, then save them for later:

1. What would you do with a free afternoon?

2. What is the best thing anyone ever said about you?

3. What cause would you be willing to leave home for?

4. Describe one of your fears and how you deal with it.

5. What is your dream job?

If you need to get out and live a little before you can develop your topics, you’ve got the time now, so go for it! Maybe you need a hammock, a fishing pole, a set of juggling balls, or tickets to the jungle. Isn't it nice to have the use of a Time Machine to help you start early?  Use it now so you don’t have to anguish later!

 

All the best from Perfect Fit College.Net

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