The Ongoing Process of the College Essay by Bronwyn Warnock

Throughout junior year, students at Shaker Heights High School, as well as many other high schools, will complete college essay drafts. The goal at the end of junior year is to leave the school building feeling like you have a pretty good understanding of what you will choose to write about for colleges. Many times, it leaves students at a significant advantage over other applicants to plan ahead for college essays.

Personally, I get some level of writing anxiety every time I receive an assignment. I’m not scared to write at all, in fact I love it. Yet, my writing anxiety comes from trying to make sure every last detail is absolutely perfect. I tend to overthink the boundaries and extent of an assignment if I spend too much time on it. Instead of allowing my thoughts to flow overtime, I tend to bag up what I am feeling and never get to a point in which I am truly satisfied.

While in high school, I have completed a great amount of applications and each one seems to have a writing section. The same cliche topics appear time after time, but instead of trying to write the responses right away, I simply read the question. I let the question and/or prompt float around in my head for a few days. I think about different topics and various aspects of my life that I can write about. One day, when I see fit, I simply sit down at my laptop and start pounding my fingers away. My ideas and thoughts are able to flow from my head and most importantly from my heart. When I write my prompts in this way, I don’t overthink my writing or underestimate my ideas. Once I feel confident with all of my responses and read them over to four or five people, I submit the application. Overtime, I have come to learn that when I write in this fashion, I tend to be more open and personable. I let my feelings go and don’t worry about trying to make myself out to be some perfect applicant. I show the organizations who I truly am and what I can do, and for me, that’s all right. I’ve come to learn that there’s not always a need to pick apart and stress over every single comma in an essay. Placing your best foot forward with you own opinions and emotions is the best way to show who you are to someone reading your writing.

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