3 minute read
Some of the most brilliant ideas come to people in the shower. Or sometimes it’s right as they’re falling asleep. The concept is that when your body is on autopilot, like going through the familiar routine of a shower or in complete rest in bed, your mind is free to think and explore more creatively.
The same approach can be applied to summertime, when students’ minds are much freer from the responsibilities of the academic year. While relaxing and daydreaming, students may find the perfect topic for their future college essay, the personal essay that many colleges require to help find their best-fit candidates.
Without even looking at college essay prompts, incoming high school seniors can accomplish a lot this month and during the first few weeks of the school year by simply brainstorming. Students can set aside some quiet and uninterrupted time to think about what makes them fascinating. (Because everyone is, in their own way.) Sketching and jotting down ideas can be messy and half-formed; at this stage, students are aiming for quantity over quality. Anything that makes a student unique, interesting, or can be discussed in a compelling way is a great option.
Here are some nudges to help get the brainstorming juices flowing:
- Was there a major obstacle that you’ve overcome?
- Have you ever changed your mind in a major way?
- What was a significant high point in your life so far?
- What is a topic that you’re super interested in?
And then, take a well-earned break! Knowing that some planned relaxation is coming will help with motivation to start the brainstorming.
When students are finding that their motivation meters have inched back up, they can revisit their list of ideas and choose which topics seem most interesting and easiest to write about. Choosing two or three topics and outlining the major and minor details that could be covered in each piece will make any college essay prompt significantly easier to write, since a large part of the thinking is already done.
Our new College Essay Writing Workshops have been designed for just this purpose – to help students to brainstorm, narrow their list of topics, outline their ideas, and ultimately come out with a first draft of their college essay – all in a supportive and upbeat environment!
Students can also take a look at the Common App’s personal essay prompts to see how their brainstorm can be turned into a fully written essay. And then a few weeks later, that essay can be refined and edited to its very best version. There are so many other components (supplemental essays, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, etc.) required for college applications that having the essay out of the way will be a huge stress relief!
Register for one of our space-limited College Essay Writing Workshops today where all levels of writing enthusiasm are welcome and where students feel encouraged and supported in their writing process.