Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Journey of the Personal Essay

I started giving a summer class for high school seniors on writing the personal essay for college applications and/or scholarships. I had six young people show up and was impressed by the dynamics in the room. Some were shy, others more outspoken, but all of them had no clue about the college admission process.

They are first generation college bound students.

As I'm a sucker for quotes, I pulled out some in the beginning of class.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” Stephen King

“Make up a new voice that will inspire you, a voice that will say whatever you need to hear and will drown out all the other negative voices, both real and imaginary.”-Courage & Craft

“One reason to write is to own, literally and figuratively, the moments of your life.”  Barbara Abercrombie

“We go into the self to escape the prison of self. We are aware of the perils—but we wish to love the world; and the world is terrible for those who do not know themselves.” –Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

The journey of the self is continuous. We are always in motion.


  1. My daughter is currently applying for colleges and scholarships. She is a gifted writer, but is often completely thrown by the prompts.

    Her: "What the ... ? How? Um, Why? Who THOUGHT of this topic?!?!"

  2. I'm always curious when I hear about this. In Canada, we don't have to write essays to gain entrance into college or university. My husband didn't have to do them either, but maybe because he went into computer science?

    1. Some of the questions on a college app includes essay type questions for the students to write about something personal, usually how they overcame a challenge or something like that. Scholarships usually ask something similar.

  3. Beautiful quotes and I'm sure you are truly helping these kids follow their dreams.

  4. wow, Elizabeth! what an awesome endeavor! and those quotes inspired me!! thanks!

    and thanks for supporting my bbf blog tour!


Thanks for stopping by! I had to turn on the word verification due to spammers. Sorry for the inconvenience.