RANCE, a high school senior, meets with his school’s college counselor, MS. LEWIS.
MS. LEWIS: Hi, Rance, how are you doing with your Common Application essay?
RANCE: Solid. Making progress.
MS. LEWIS: Can I read your first draft?
RANCE: Sure, here you go.
(Rance hands Ms. Lewis a sheet of paper.)
MS. LEWIS: Uhm, this has one word on it. “The.”
RANCE: Yeah, I know. I heard that the first sentence is important so I want to be sure it’s right.
MS. LEWIS: This is not even close to “right.” Or close to a sentence.
RANCE: I’ve been trying, Ms. Lewis. I must’ve written about fifty first sentences but after I read them over, none of them sound any good.
MS LEWIS: Have you considered simply getting something down – anything at all – just to get the ball rolling?
MS. LEWIS: Well, perhaps you should. That way you can get some momentum, write the rest of the essay, and then come back to the first sentence later.
RANCE: You know what, Ms. Lewis? That sounds like a good idea.
MS. LEWIS: I think it will help you, Rance. In fact, instead of a first draft, think of what you’re doing now as a rough draft. That might free you up even more. Then you can continue to revise and refine from there.
RANCE: Yeah, I like it. Thanks so much, Ms. Lewis. I guess that’s why they pay you the big bucks.
MS. LEWIS: I do not make the big bucks.
For help with the Common Application or any other application essays, please contact Craig Heller at 818-340-1276 or Craig.firstname.lastname@example.org.