dcsimg
You are here:

The Secret to College Essays: Write Early and Often

Atttention, high school seniors! It might seem like the end of November is practically light years away, but those college applications will be due sooner than you think, and there's a lot more to them than just GPAs and letters of recommendation. Will you be prepared, or will you be wearing your hands down to the bone typing up last-minute essays in a race to beat the clock? It might seem like a good idea at the time -- who wants to write essays when you could be enjoying your last weekends of summer? -- but it's a plan that could come back to haunt you in a few months' time.

Just ask New York Times guest columnist Madeline Walter.

Today, Walter works as an essay editor and a writing coach, helping students across the country get into the colleges and universities of their dreams. It isn't a skill she developed overnight, however. In her guest column, she describes her own experience with college essay writing, and the necessity of practice (no matter how good you think your writing skills already are). It all started with Harvard and a blanket:

"I wrote my Harvard personal statement about 'Blanky,' the yellow baby blanket that still sits on my bed today. (Yes, today. Yes, I'm 24.) It seemed like the perfect topic. Blanky shows that I have a childlike vulnerability! Blanky has been with me through it all! Blanky is tattered but I love him more for those worn edges and that hole in the middle �� what a perfect metaphor for life!"

Upon re-reading her files, the college writing maven discovered the essay to be a little more lackluster than she remembered, for a variety of reasons ranging from overly-flowery prose to an awful lot of filler for a 500-word essay. The main problem: a topic she chose "because I thought it was a unique concept and a good metaphor, not because it was fun to write. And because it was boring to write, it was boring to read."

Of course, she bounced back from there to write a winning essay for Yale and find her way into the hearts of several colleges. But it took a lot of blanket essays, bumps in the road, and revisions to get there. Interested in making it past your high school diploma? Don't forget your college essays -- they are hard work to perfect, and the best time to get started is now.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • MSW@Denver

    MSW@Denver is an online Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW).

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work (MSW)
    Location:
    Denver: , Denver CO 80208
    MSW@Denver Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology
    • Master of Science in Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Keiser University Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd,, Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Logan University

    Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Health Professionals Education
    • Master of Science - Sports Science & Rehabilitation
    • Master of Science - Nutrition & Human Performance
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Logan University Request Info »
  • Miller-Motte College

    Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

    Programs

    • Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science
    • Electronic Medical Records - Associate of Applied Science
    • IT Support Specialist - Associate of Applied Science
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Miller-Motte College Request Info »
  • Rutgers University

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Social Work
    • Online Master of Business Administration
    • Online Master of Information
    • More...
    Location:
    New Brunswick: 57 U.S. 1,, New Brunswick NJ 08901
    Rutgers University Request Info »
  • Capella University

    About Capella University

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.