The Draft Board
As any student should be, coming into this school year I felt extremely nervous about diving into the world of college essays. The rumors spread about their inevitably tough nature was daunting, yes, but the true worry for me lay in the word limit of the Common App. It is no secret that since I began writing, either for school or entertainment, I consistently over complicated even the most simple ideas. Something about the way I transfer thought into word calls for a use of extra and unnecessary adjectives, verbs, and nouns. And so I was worried. I wrote the first draft of my college essay, and upon having my teacher critique it for the first time I received the feedback which I had expected. In the original second paragraph of my college essay, which no longer exists, I had restated my ideas introduced within my first paragraph. This was a telltale example of me trying to restate my thoughts, not for emphasis’ sake, but rather because I was trying to be complex. The critique I was given basically instructed me to remove the redundant paragraph, and instead add a paragraph elsewhere which would give specific examples of my experiences at my internship. I took my teacher’s advice and did as instructed, but more importantly I broadened my view to focus on tightening up my entire essay. Based on the feedback I was given, I searched for areas of my essay which were redundant and required conciseness and simplicity. As a result I was able to significantly slim down my introduction paragraph, which actually helped to push my hook into the reader’s mind instead of dimming it down with over complicated vocabulary. What was one 100 words now became 50 words, yet still exemplified the idea which I had originally intended. To be able to force myself to write with simplicity required a wave of reflection. I needed to be able to look back at my work and knead out the impurities which dragged down the essay. I had to read aloud, and put myself in the mind of a college admissions rep instead of myself, as my bias would lead me to believe my work was flawless. Although this skill needs honing, I believe through this process I have become that much more of a competent writer.