More than 200 senior students at Archbishop Mitty High School prepared to write their way to success by putting a first draft of their college essay on paper this summer.
In early August, the school held its first two-day camp to guide students through planning the words, style, and message of an essay that could help to determine where they study next fall.
“We’ve realized that the college essay is even more complicated than it was five years ago,” said Associate Principal Keith Mathews, who helped coordinate the event.
The camp allows students to learn the features of an effective essay during the summer, Mathews explained. Students reported that one of the best parts of the camp was that it allowed students to set aside some concentrated time for writing, the associate principal said.
Seven English teachers and three counselors joined students in sacrificing some of the last days of summer to talk about writing. One counselor reminded students to keep the deadlines in mind and to write about the things that make them “tick.” She recalled essays about fishing, gardening, and even stage make-up that were successful because they illustrated a personal quality of the applicant.
Speakers reminded students that University of California (UC) schools and private schools have different values and interests. Students had a chance to see this first hand on the second day of the program, when admissions officers from the UC system and Santa Clara University explained what they look for in an application essay.
Students gathered in the Thomas Kinkade Center for the Arts for some initial instruction and then were allowed to approach the day in whatever way was most useful for them. Some seniors used the time to write a first draft of an essay. Others asked professionals to read already finished work.
For more information about the college essay writing camp, visit the high school’s website: www.mitty.com/academics/college-essay. For the latest school news, follow AMHS on Twitter @AMHSmonarchs, Instagram @AMHSmonarchs, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/amhsmonarchs.