Looking for a subject for that perfect college essay?
Concerned that you haven’t had interesting enough experiences to stand out from the crowd?
You may be surprised to hear that there is no perfect subject. And no matter what subject you choose, you are just as interesting as you need to be. The summer before senior year is not the time to panic; it’s the time to look back at your experiences and reflect a bit. Whatever you have planned this summer, whether babysitting or hiking the Rocky Mountains, you should consider keeping a journal – a very low key journal.
We put these types of journals in the same category as snapshot photo albums. Think of your entries as though they were quick shots from your cellphone – something you might post on Facebook or a photo sharing website. Their purpose is to jog your memory, to remind you of an experience, not to capture it in spectacular detail.
If you try to record everything that happens on your trip to the Grand Canyon or every life-changing insight from your summer job as a swim teacher, you’ll give up after a day or two. On the other hand, if you jot down, “Sunset with Brian and Sarah. The sky was from a paint box,” you’ll remember that evening forever. If you scribble, “Leah finally put her head in the water! I threw the red plastic ring to the bottom of the pool, and she went straight down for it,” you’ll also remember the way the sun hit the diving board and the lady in the lounge chair who sat by the pool all summer with iced tea and a trashy novel.
As professional writers, this is the type of journaling we do too. Sure, we sometimes write pages and pages, but we also collect scraps of experiences and moments.
The best college essays are full of personal details. Keeping a journal will help you practice noticing and recording those details. By the time you get to those essays, you’ll know just what to do.
Bring your ideas and your journals to a Wow Them With Your College Essay class this summer. We’ll teach you how to turn your experiences into compelling stories that will show admissions officers who you are.