Sunday, November 27, 2011

How many more essays?

image stolen from this blog. Clever, no?
A goal I had for this four day weekend was for HSS to finish up all the college essays still needed. In hindsight this was overly optimistic.

Sigh...taking a deep breath and getting back on task...

One tool that I think is worth the money is College Essay Organizer. I guess if you don't apply to too many schools, or if their essay requirements aren't to varied, a spreadsheet would work, but the nice thing about this website is that it pulls essay requirements together to let you submit the same essay, or at least a similar essay to multiple schools.

What HSS's  road-map says is still needed:

  • Your intellectual interests and -
    • how college B's academic program will cultivate 
    • how you decided on your planned major at college C 
    • what interests you in your planned major
    • what beyond you planned major are you interested in
  • What unique aspect of college D attracted you to apply
  • A challenge that you faced a persevered through
  • Three things college E should know about you that you haven't covered

I'm hoping we might get through all four that are tied to intellectual interests, but that means a lot of drafts, proof-reading and polishing is on the agenda for today. HSS is not a lover of writing, so this process can be pretty unpleasant.

This brings me to the point I'd like to express in this post, if there is a point beyond just writing what's on the agenda for today that relates to the kind of topics I usually post on this blog. I understand that being able to express yourself and communicate ideas is essential to critical thinking, but is it fair that so much time and effort in college applications is tied up in essays? I think essays are going to take up 95% of the time spent on filling out college applications. I think essays will take even more time then it took to decide on what colleges to apply to and to visit more than half of them. Yes, I'm talking days and days of essay writing.

Shouldn't there be other skills that get individually highlighted? If math is your thing, shouldn't there be a way to emphasize that, beyond SAT scores and writing an essay about it? Don't get me wrong - obviously I enjoy writing or I wouldn't be doing one of these posts every day, but I think writing about non-writing interests still gets judged primarily on how good of a writer you are.

Is that meta enough for you?

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