Saturday, December 16, 2017

Rejected or Deferred? Can You Write College Application Essays Quickly?


This is my latest piece on Huffington Post. You've heard some of this before, but perhaps in a different frame of mind....

Here's the opening:

"December is a tough month for college applicants.

"When you apply early decision to a college you have your heart set on, it can be crushing if you’re rejected or deferred.

"If you’re rejected, you just have to pick yourself up and move on to the other wonderful colleges on your list. This might mean finding another college or two, writing a half dozen essays you hadn’t planned to write, and/or taking a look at your Common Application essay and revising it - yes, you’re allowed to revise it. If you’re still searching for appropriate colleges, the ultimate reference book is The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Editionupdated every year by Princeton Review.

"If you’re faced with having to write a slew of unanticipated essays, get to work. There’s no sweetener for this project, and you’ve been there before. Make the essays personal to you and your academic desires, specific to the colleges you’re applying to (mention specific majors, courses, professors, and other opportunities unique to that college), and get another pair of eyes to review them for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and good sense.  READ THE REST 

And shoot me an email if you think you need help with this project: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Need help with your college app essays?

Send me an email or pick up the phone (I'm on the East Coast)

Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com

1-855-99-ESSAY.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Students of Science & the Arts: Enjoy these Remarkable Photos

Please be sure to visit my new website for the latest in college application essay news by clicking right here: Don't Sweat the Essay.

In our focus on getting into college and getting into "the right college" or "the best college," we sometimes forget that education is a tool, a lifelong endeavor, one of many destinations on the map of our lives and our goals.  When I come across articles or events that might be of interest to the students I work with, I like to call attention to them - which brings me to these amazing pictures from a British organization that finds photographs that celebrate scientific achievements. From their website:

"The Wellcome Image Awards are Wellcome’s most eye-catching celebration of science, medicine and life. Now in their 20th year, the Awards recognise the creators of informative, striking and technically excellent images that communicate significant aspects of healthcare and biomedical science. Those featured are selected from all of the new images acquired by Wellcome Images during the preceding year. The judges are experts from medical science and science communication.

"This year's Wellcome Image Awards were presented on 15 March 2017, celebrating the scientists, clinicians, photographers and artists who bring science to life through remarkable imaging.

CLICK HERE to: Watch our judges talk about the power of visual imagery and this year’s selection of images."

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AWARD-WINNING PHOTOS.  You can even vote for your favorites!

Please email me for information on my college consulting services: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com  1-855-99-ESSAY 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Should I Start Writing Now? (No.) But Look at New Common Application College Essay Prompts!!

Please visit my new Don't Sweat the Essay website for more information: 
Students don’t need to submit their college applications until fall, but they will have plenty of time to look over the new prompts for the Common Application, which were recently released by the organization.  The prompts are very similar to those of recent years, with a few notable exceptions. There are 2 more choices, and several of the “old” prompts have been refined. I think they are terrific questions and they will elicit revealing answers from students. The word limit is still 650.
If your next question is: “Should I start writing my essay now?” the answer is NO. But isn’t it good to get a head start? In general, yes, but in this area, I’d suggest waiting at least until June. Why? My experience is that if you write your essay too early, by the time you actually work on your applications in earnest, you’ll have moved beyond the topic you chose and want to write something else. After all, you have five to eight months of life experience between now and the time you press SEND. And don’t worry: you’ll get it done with plenty of time left over even if you start in June or July or August. But don’t wait until the last minute.
My advice for now: Look at the questions. See if any of them leap out at you. File them away for the time being. In the meantime, do some reading and writing on your own. What to read? Students don’t need to submit their college applications until fall, but they will have plenty of time to look over the new prompts for the Common Application, which were recently released by the organization.  The prompts are very similar to those of recent years, with a few notable exceptions. There are 2 more choices, and several of the “old” prompts have been refined. I think they are terrific questions and they will elicit revealing answers from students. The word limit is still 650.
If your next question is: “Should I start writing my essay now?” the answer is NO. But isn’t it good to get a head start? In general, yes, but in this area, I’d suggest waiting at least until June. Why? My experience is that if you write your essay too early, by the time you actually work on your applications in earnest, you’ll have moved beyond the topic you chose and want to write something else. After all, you have five to eight months of life experience between now and the time you press SEND. And don’t worry: you’ll get it done with plenty of time left over even if you start in June or July or August. But don’t wait until the last minute.
My advice for now: Look at the questions. See if any of them leap out at you. File them away for the time being. In the meantime, do some reading and writing on your own. What to read? The New York Times. will give you spot-on lessons in clarity and precise writing. The New Yorker will entertain and enlighten you with excellent writing, wit, fascinating subjects, including science and technology, CARTOONS, poetry, fiction, and profiles of the most interesting people around.  
If you want to talk about the essay process – whether it’s the Common App essay or the supplements, the University of California essays or those for MIT – please shoot me an email or give me a call. Liz@dontsweattheessay.com  1-855-99-ESSAY. I’m on the East Coast and work with students around the world on Skype and Google Docs.
2017-2018 Common Application Essay Prompts
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change]
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised]
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised]
4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change]
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised]
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]
1-855-99-ESSAY  Liz@dontsweattheessay.com

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hungry for College App Essay Advice and Info? Please Visit My New Website!

By all means, click on the posts here that are helpful, and be sure to visit Don't Sweat the Essay's new website - at the same old url: Don't Sweat the Essay - for new posts. Take the plunge this summer. What have you got to lose?


Sunday, July 31, 2016

College Consultant Application Essays & STEM Panel - Martha's Vineyard Augus 2016


Wednesday August 3, I’m giving a talk with Q/A at the Edgartown Library – the new building – at 6.30pm. Here’s the library’s write up from their website. Please join us! 26 West Tisbury Road, Edgartown, MA 02539.

College Admissions Tips:  Free Program on Wednesday, August 3

“Author and former Princeton professor Elizabeth Benedict started her company, Don’t Sweat the Essay, to help high school students with their college application essays. Now she advises families on the entire process.
“She’ll answer your questions — and calm some of your fears — in her free lecture/Q&A, 10 Tips for Staying Sane While Applying to College, here at the library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3.”
Thursday August 4th is a very different sort of event at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs – a panel discussion, “Impact of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) in the 21st Century.” With Dr. John Wilson, Morehouse College; Freada Klein, Kabor Center for Social Impact; Winston Henderson of Nano Terra, Inc.; and Rick Fredkin, Eduporium. 55 Narragansett Ave. Oak Bluffs.
Contact me for information about college applications and application essays. Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com or 1-855-99-ESSAY.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

45 Ways to Avoid Saying "Very" in Your College Application Essay or Personal Statement (Robin Williams Helps)



What's wrong with the word "very"?

Such an emphatic little word.

It makes what comes next much more than it is on its own. Right? No. Not really.

This is a short blog post. Or: This is a very short blog post?

I walk fast to the bank. I walk very fast to the bank?  What's so wrong with that?

I run to the bank. I sprint to the bank. I gallop to the bank. I race to the bank.

Which is more vivid, more descriptive, more memorable? Which suggests that there might be a serious reason for why you're sprinting to the bank?

Once you click on this website and read the full list, you'll know more. And Robin Williams - in the Dead Poets Society - is there to help. Funny. Very funny. Sometimes it's OK to say very. But rarely. You might even say, very rarely, but it would be wrong. (And sorry about the ads and junk on the link; it's hard to get a clear list of the words in readable form, which is why I don't have one on this page.)

Which is better: Please visit my new website. Or: Please visit my very new website? You decide. Click here for more information about college application essays. Or send me an email: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.com  ~~  And thanks. Thanks very much.