Friday, November 12, 2010

Write Your Own Damn College Essay!

This is a letter in response to a craiglist post by Erin, which I am sure will be removed soon so I will have to screencap it.

In case I don't...Erin is offering $60 OBO for someone to write her "world class college admissions essay"--the dreaded personal statement

Dear Erin-

I’m very concerned. Not only for ethical reasons, but also about the path your walking down.

I get it. College admissions is more competitive than ever and many times, it comes down to your essay. But even if you hired Stephen King to write it for you…I’m pretty sure a college counselor would still pick the other candidate. Because guess what? They can tell.

Ultimately, the essay is more about your personality than your writing itself. It’s about your insight, your ideas and what you have to offer not only the university, but ultimately society and the world. I’m not saying your essay has to be about that time you went to some Third World country and saved all the children. It just has to be about a story or a moment that means and says something about you.
Mine was about Christmas decorations. One of my short answer questions was about painting a winter landscape while eating a tuna sandwich (but mostly about the tuna sandwich).

But forging this essay as your personal statement is a step down the wrong road. Does that mean you will also forge your first term paper? Forge your thesis? And maybe you’ll do all that and graduate with a degree from an Ivy League university without getting caught (doubtful). Then what?
Ultimately, you will not have ownership of your work…because it was not your work. I'm not talking propreitary ownership, I mean your personal gratification and pride. This problem will transition from your college application to the real world. It will become habit and it will effect all of your work.

So take a deep breath. You have another month to turn pound out that personal statement and get into your dream school. I know you can write something you can be really proud of and maybe you can hire a proofreader for $60 obo.

Just remember, college, your job, a match to be made not a prize to be won.


Empty Pocket Grad

Readers: feel free to disagree.


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