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If you are a rising high school senior (or parent of one) (or an anxious parent-to-be wondering if your future kid will ever go to college and if so, how you'll afford it), you have undoubtedly read countless versions of: How to Write a Successful College Essay, AKA the Personal Essay.

  • DO write with an authentic voice

  • DON'T pick a cliche topic

  • DO reveal The Real You

  • DON'T write about anything that you actually spend time doing -- we're talking about you, video games!

  • DO be memorable and unforgettable and other impressive "-able" words

  • DON'T panic!

Or... do panic, like Dennard Dale in his essay "Dear [School], Here's My Soul in Six Hundred Words of Less" in The New Yorker:

My greatest obstacle? After sixteen years on a dying planet, it’s definitely this essay. I’ve never felt smaller or more alone. The typos that Google Docs catches (or adds) will define the rest of my life. And Google thinks my name’s an error, so I’m not optimistic.

The amount of pressure put on these 650 words is enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand until senior year is over. Is there another way?

Wouldn't it be cool if we could turn the dread of college essay writing into a process of self-discovery? I say: let's do it. Let's discover, have fun, and put the stress and pressure in the rearview.

I'm here for brainstorming topics, helping guide the writing process, and/or a final editing pass. Click for more info and to schedule a free consult:

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