I came across this article in the “Atlantic,” entitled “On Writing a Great Essay, Think and Care Deeply,” and wanted to share it with you. When writing an essay, believe in yourself and in your abilities to reach a higher level of thinking.
So often when I sit down to write a commentary for my newspaper, I feel the anxiety of uncertainty. What should I write? What do I want to say? Will it make logical sense? Can I revise it quickly enough to meet my deadline? Will I embarrass myself by writing something that’s not good enough?
Your college application essay will be good enough. Trust in that. But to get there, give yourself the time to think deeply and to write with no distractions. You may not know where you’re going with it, but if you write something, it will spur a thought process that will lead you somewhere.
You have to have faith.
Last week I assigned myself a commentary which was to run in the June 30 edition of my newspaper. But the night before deadline, I still had no idea what to say. Then I looked at my computer screen and saw a photo of myself with my late grandmother, a proud naturalized U.S. citizen. By the time I got to the end of the piece, I realized I wanted to acknowledge how she had paved the way for me to have a life in America. I named the piece, “My American life is courtesy of an immigrant,” and called attention to the approaching July 4th holiday. Here is the essay as it appeared in the paper.
You will have the same type of epiphany if you give yourself the opportunity to think deeply and write.