During the ten years I’ve been a college application essay tutor, I have always focused my blogs on practical ways students could improve their essays, and their writing in general. I have written about how to start an essay, end it, deal with the word count, describe feelings rather than events, and much more. (https://collegeessaysolutions.com/how-to-make-your-college-application-essay-the-best-writing-youve-ever-done-1-of-25/) In the coming months, I will continue posting blogs about writing the application essay but this one, my first of 2018, is about me.
Writing Essays is a Chance to Learn
In working with students, I have always felt it essential to know what is important to them, what events in their lives have been formative, the kind of citizen they want to be, on campus and beyond, their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and dreams. I often tell students that writing their essays is a chance to learn, “what you didn’t know you didn’t know about yourself,” and, in most cases, they understand exactly what I mean, and apply themselves eagerly to the task.
Generation C (?)
This approach has offered me tremendous insight into the hearts, minds and psyches of high school seniors and, stemming from that, moments of great satisfaction. Because the kids of today – call them iGen, Generation Z, Generation C (for cell phones ?), whatever – are more than all right; they are fantastic. In my experience, they are smart, engaged, highly moral, kind, open minded and eager to establish a new world order based on contemporary ideas and values. Sure they want lucrative careers but, given the current economic state of our society, who can blame them for that? Beyond those surface goals, however, seventeen and eighteen year olds of 2018 wholeheartedly believe in making the world a better place and accept that it is their responsibility to do so. Even more significantly, they are convinced they can do it.
In 2018, high school students took the forefront on the issue of gun control (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Again_MSD) and, wherever you might stand on that debate, it is hard not to be impressed by their passion, intelligence, organizational ability, eloquence, clarity, and toughness. Personally, every time I saw one of these young people on television, I felt a twinge of identification. These could be students I work with, I thought, and I was proud.
The Joy of Being a College Application Essay Tutor
As a college application essay tutor, my satisfaction comes, first and foremost, from guiding students to writing essays that will be a true asset to their overall application. I also enjoy sharing in the happiness of learning a student has been accepted to his or her first choice school. Yet, beyond those transactional pleasures, the joy of being a college application essay tutor comes from getting to know, however briefly, these students, to understand and appreciate what drives them, to see how they relate to a world that becomes more tumultuous and complex every year, and to silently cheer them on as they commit themselves to a robust future. I have worked with students from all over the United States and from countries as diverse as China, Brazil, India, Iran, Mongolia, Qatar, and more. Though they come from every ethnic group, every socio-economic level, every family structure, their common denominator is a desire to shape a bright future for all of us.
With these thoughts in mind, I eagerly look forward to working with rising seniors of 2018, transfer students and applicants for advanced degrees, and helping them write the best essays they can possibly write.
Good luck to all of you!