by Julie Wolf, Guest Writer
“It was the worst part of high school, hands down. I’ve blocked it out.”
This is my daughter, now a junior in college, discussing the college application process, specifically the anxiety-provoking personal essay. Unfortunately, I haven’t blocked it out. As January deadlines loomed, she dug herself into a hole, with stacks of essays still unwritten. The two of us stayed home over the school holiday while the rest of the family made merry with relatives out of state. Our next student, a high school senior, already has a draft underway, hewing to the start-in-the-summer advice that my daughter largely ignored. The clarity of hindsight shows that I was too involved from the outset with his sister, offering help that she didn’t want but came to rely on, so with Student 2 I’m treading lightly. Occasionally I peek into his room and see him sitting on his bed, tapping away at his computer. I back away; I don’t ask. One night, though, my resolve broke. To my amazement, he let me read his essay; I promised not to say much.