It must be summer…whether the calendar says so or not. My calendar is booked with college essay brainstorming sessions with rising seniors. My tasks change with the seasons and that is one of the things I love about my job. Interestingly, that is also one of the things I love about living in this part of the country – the change and sense of renewal we experience with every season change. Summer means college essay time. I always find it rejuvenating. My clients and I get to set aside the college planning discussions temporarily and hunker down for some true soul-searching. I get to challenge the students I work with in ways that they may not have been challenged before.
You cannot beat a one-on-one brainstorming session. Many a book has been written about how to write “winning college essays” but they can’t hold a candle to a carefully placed question asked at just the right time and in person. When a student is thinking through an idea and I can ask, “What do you mean by that?” or “Why do you feel that way?” Or “Can you prove it to me?” That is when you can see the wheels turning and progress being made. It is hard work and it takes true focus and maturity to write honestly about yourself. It is not something that many of us have experience with and is particularly foreign to seventeen year olds. It is not like writing a paper for history class – there will be no sources to quote or facts to site. This writing has to come from within and it may just take awhile.
So, the other day my husband kindly put the air-conditioner in my office window. Summer is here and brainstorming has begun. Bring it on.