At this point, many of you have started to write, or started to start to write, or are thinking about starting to start to write, your college application essay. I thought, therefore, that it might be beneficial to create a fictional diary of a student who is currently working on her college application essay, so that everyone could see that they are not alone in struggling with this complex task.

I’ll call this made-up student, Judy Franklin. She is a high school senior at South Laguna Beach High School in southern California, and is about to begin writing her application essay. Here is her first diary entry:

September 12, 2011. I am so freaked out about the college admissions essay. Every idea I have seems stupid and boring. Why do they make us do this? It’s definitely torture. Isn’t that illegal? Maybe I’ll join the Air Force.