Personal Essay for College

The Core Knowledge Blog wrote an interesting, and excellent, post about college entrance essays. The article suggested a research paper or three papers graded by the students’ high school teachers instead.

Last year’s common application, used by scores of colleges and universities around the country, asked students to discuss an issue of personal concern, a person, fictional character or historic figure who influenced them, a life experience or a topic of their choice, the AP notes. At the risk of sounding churlish, the unlived life is not worth examining.

E has already had trouble in college with his lack of life experience. He’s now sixteen. He’s also now a sophomore. When his freshman comp teacher expected him to answer questions very like the ones above, he was at his wit’s end – and in tears- because he didn’t have anything to say. Now he was young, but there are plenty of eighteen year olds who don’t have anything life changing in their life.

So I’m not too thrilled that this next month he’ll be writing just this kind of essay so that he can go to UT or A&M or somewhere else. He does have some experience outside the box. He tutored an inner city kid in reading. But other than that… nope.

Most high school students, thank God, don’t have huge life crises to write about.