Bradley weighs in on college essay experiences

by Josie Harshfield

Video Story Editor

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

 Students writing their college essays at home. Photo Credit: Px here.
Students writing their college essays at home. Photo Credit: Px here.

As the school year quickly progresses, seniors are preparing for their futures ahead of them. When preparing for graduation, seniors begin writing their college essays. The college essay has a few different prompts for students to write about, such as, their background or talent that they believe are incomplete without them, or obstacles they strongly overcame. All throughout Bradley, many seniors have different opinions about the essay.

Emma Brooks, a senior at Bradley says “I was really excited to write my college essay, to some people it’s really nerve racking but I enjoyed it because I was able to talk about a side of me that no one knows about”. Writing the essay can be an exhilarating experience, especially for Brooks. Another senior, Jason Moine, has a similar opinion, “it felt empowering, like I got to tell my own story for the first time”. The college essay brings out a part of you that you have hidden from people most of your life. Other seniors from Bradley have some opinions that aren’t so positive, Gaby Soto says “I don’t like it because my life struggles, things I have overcome, and personality don’t fit into the 650 word max. Also, I feel that when writing our essays, you have to show the best version of yourself or what you think they want to see when in reality there’s so much more to us.” Soto thinks that the essay doesn’t fully capture our true identity; since the word count is too little, we aren’t able to put much information about ourselves into the essay.

At Bradley, the seniors wrote their essays in their English classes. Is writing the essay in class more beneficial than writing it alone? Mrs. Cunningham, an English 12 teacher says “I do think it is beneficial to have seniors write their college essay in class because they will have guidance through the entire process: brainstorming, drafting, editing, and polishing.” Going off Soto’s response, saying that the word count is too little, Cunningham said “I think the Common Application requirement of 250-650 words is just right because it allows room for development, yet forces students to be purposeful and brief.” Cunningham disagrees with Soto’s response; she thinks that the essay word count is perfect for the seniors.

Although many students at Bradley have mixed opinions about the college essay, they all agree that writing the essay takes strength and power. It requires an abundance of emotion and passion to have the strength to write something so deep in a limited word count.