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3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing Your College Application Essay

July 19, 2013

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing Your College Application EssaysSooo…. you’ve got some essays to write.

When are you going to get started?

Today?

No?

Tomorrow?

Here are 3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing Your College Application Essay:

  • Go Outside. Yes, you heard me right. Think about your essay everywhere EXCEPT in front of your keyboard. This works, because it allows your brain to become more creative and relaxed. So walk your dog, ride your skateboard, take a swim -  let your brain be inspired.
  • Freewrite: Do you have an idea or two but can’t get a decent sentence on the page? Then freewrite. Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes and write a train of thought paragraph about your topic. Close your eyes and try to put yourself in your story. Write what you felt, heard, tasted, saw, smelled. What were your emotions? What were you thinking? How did it affect you? You’ll be surprised at the material you come up with. After that, you should be able to move on to your essay.
  • Forget about writing “THE ESSAY.” Yes, the college essay is important but I’ve met students who are actually afraid to start writing. They feel so much pressure to choose the perfect topic and make the essay convey everything that’s special about them that they start to panic.

Here’s what I tell them:

  • Your essay isn’t your resume. You only have 650 words. You have to choose what you want to tell the colleges about you – not throw in the kitchen sink.
  • You Don’t Need a One-of-a-Kind Topic. Why? Because YOU are the unique part of your essay. While other students may choose the same topic, no one will react to it, learn from it or grow from it the same way. Schools want to understand your perspective. They want to see the world from your eyes.
  • Don’t settle for easy answers. This is an excellent tip for writing a great essay. Look inside yourself and dig deep for this essay. One way to do that is to keep asking yourself “why?” “Why is it important for me to tell this story?”…”Why did I react this way?” Take the time to figure out those answers and you’ll have an essay to be proud of.

Sooo… you’ve got some essays to write.

What are you waiting for? Go outside and get started.

sharon-epstein-college-essay-writing-and-interview-skillsSharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. A Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee, Sharon teaches students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. She works with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, Skype and email. Visit her website for more info. Connect on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2013 8:03 pm

    Great post, Sharon! We’ve all experienced our fair share of writer’s block and your tips are spot-on. I often find that when I walk away from the computer and just let my thoughts wander, things all of sudden become much more clear.

    Will be sharing this as my #CollegeTipOfTheDay for tomorrow!

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