I recently had the pleasure of working with two students on their college essays. The first student was a transfer student and the second one was a new college applicant. Both students shared personal challenges in their personal essays and how they grew up and evolved as a result of facing those challenges.
Transfer Student Describes Her Immigrant and Acculturation Process
The first student was attending Michigan State University and wanted to transfer to the University of Michigan. Her father contacted me requesting help in polishing up her personal statement and supplemental essays. He felt confident that the University of Michigan would accept his daughter if she could improve her writing. Her essays explored how she became an American citizen while adapting to American culture. She struggled with integrating herself into her new environment as she felt conflicted between her Arabic heritage and American culture. In the end, she described how she learned to balance her Arabic culture while at the same time embracing life in America. She worked very hard on her essays over the course of three months, and a few months later, the University of Michigan accepted her. She later told me, “working with Elizabeth has been a wonderful experience as she helped so much with my essays and aided me to discover what I wanted to write about. Furthermore, she encouraged me along the way by developing a personal relationship with me”.
University Applicant Describes Adjusting to Summer Camp
Another parent contacted me, looking for guidance on solidifying her son’s narrative essay for his application to Oregon State University. He wrote about his experience at a YMCA summer camp when he struggled to adapt and make new friends with his cabin mates. He described his camp experiences as a ten-year-old boy adjusting to his new setting, trying to accept it and become more flexible, much like a new college dormitory setting. He was able to come to terms by participating in camp activities alongside his cabin buddies by maintaining a positive attitude. He also conveyed how he got over attachments to the past while finding enjoyment in the present moment. When it came time to submit his personal statement toward the common online application, he felt confident and self-assured after writing and editing his story of overcoming challenges to accept others at his YMCA camp. Four weeks later after submitting his application, Oregon State University admitted him.
I find that students and parents seek a facilitator who is honest, sincere, and open-minded. Furthermore, they want a coach who can help their daughter or son work through the basics of writing from brainstorming ideas while working through the editing process to produce a finished draft which in the case of these two students resulted in an acceptance to their desired university.
Email me to learn how you can help your rising senior or transfer student make a positive impression with admission officers via his or her essay: email@example.com