I was getting ice cream at Gunthers a couple of days ago, and while I was waiting, I picked up the Sac News and Review. The issue was the 2017 winners of SN&R's 2017 College Essay Contest. I read them. First, I thought these are good. Second, I thought my students could do this. As I read on, I found out that the winner won two thousand dollars, second place won a thousand dollars, and third won five hundred dollars. I was also surprised to see that the students looked like my students. In other words, the winners were diverse. I did some more research and found that the contest is a personal essay used to get into college. I was a little bummed to find out that only seniors can enter, so my nines and tens are out. But I have juniors as well. They could write a personal essay used to turn into colleges next year and enter this contest. Sounds like an awesome final, huh? Welcome to your final juniors! These will be your mentor texts. They will make great examples. For an explanation of the essay contest, click here.
Here are some of the prompts from the explanation:
"While questions vary from college to college, there are some common ones:
Who are you?
How did you become who you are today?
What are your key experiences, beliefs and interests?
Tell us about a failure. What did you learn from that experience?
Have your core beliefs ever been challenged? What happened?
And then, a wide variety of wacko questions, such as, “What do you expect to find over the rainbow?”
I thought it would be pretty hard to answer any of these questions.
But I thought of other questions that may not be of interest to the college admission officers, but should be of interest to anyone who is trying to figure out a life plan.
My questions include:
What do you do with your days?
Are your efforts making the world a better or a worse place?
What is actually important to you? Family, friends, status, wealth or …?
Should you change what you are doing?
If so, what stands in your way?
I am not 18. It has been 47 years since I stopped caring about college admissions officers. But I still care about these important questions. And the answers."
I'm a 9th and 10th grade