Ah yes. The inevitable “should I change my essay” freak out. We know it well. Listen, the past year has been all about training yourself to have a ton of energy--energy for SATs, APs, college essays, sports (hopefully not too many) and homework. At this point, you’re basically the Energizer Bunny. So, in the final leg of the application marathon, it’s natural that you would want to direct that energy (or dare we say stress) towards the last part of the application left in your control. So, should you keep going and going and going on your essay?
Pot Roast > Spam
The short answer? No way.
Consider a story about one of our writers. When she was in high school, writing was basically her superpower. She got a perfect score on the writing component of the ACT and won regional essay-writing competitions every year. While our writer hadn’t gotten A’s in Calculus, she was sure she would wow her top-choice schools with stellar essays and supplements. No pressure, right? She mulled over a few ideas, finally landed on one, and popped out what was probably a decent, if not excellent, first-draft essay. But instead of trusting her abilities, our writer just kept tweaking, turning what may have been a perfect pot roast into a piece more like Spam. Our writer did not get into her top-choice school. We will never know if the reason was her essay, but what we do know is that obsessing over her supplement caused her a ton of unnecessary stress in the run-up.
The moral of the story is, don’t reduce pot roast to spam by trying to come up with another idea in the 11th hour or wondering if a different adjective in the third paragraph will somehow make or break your essay.
By the way, our writer later applied to the Columbia School of Journalism for graduate school. Having learned her lesson about nit-picking over her essay the last time, she wrote her essay about the first topic that came to mind, edited it once, proofread read it, and sent it off without too much stress. The whole process took her a few hours and she ultimately got in.
Cook Something Else
If you find yourself obsessing over your essay, perhaps it’s time to move on. Accept the fact that you’ve completed your Early Decision application and congratulate yourself. Now it’s time to finish your Regular Decision applications and focus on doing so by December 1st.
Get a Sous Chef
There is one caveat. If you’ve completed your Common App essay and perhaps did not get into the school of your choice, it might be time to get a second opinion. Essays came naturally to our writer, but we understand not everyone is comfortable churning out an A+ essay in two hours flat.
Luckily, the Common Application is a living, breathing document. You can technically change it once you’ve submitted. So if you did get rejected from your Early Decision choice, come and see us. It might have been your essay. We, at The Koppelman Group, offer an “It’s Going to Be Okay” package for seniors in such a circumstance and find themselves with just a few weeks to get all of their other applications in.
Find out more about the “It’s Going to Be Okay” package here.