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Garden City Life - Schools

College Essay Writing Made Easy

It’s that time of year again. Coming-of-age seniors tackled the dreaded college essay (how to write one, and the basics on a good essay) at the Garden City Public School’s summer enrichment program, a course that will also be offered this fall through Continuing Education. In this course, students are taught the importance of what goes into a college essay and how to write one. With remarkable advice and support from Garden City High School English teacher Carlo Rebolini, students are guided in the right direction.

Now-a-days, colleges aren’t looking for just the jock, or the brainiac; they are looking for well-rounded individuals who would add to the university’s or college’s prestige. They want someone with the entire package. It’s a very competitive game out there, so it’s imperative that students try their best, and be recognized for their achievements. Admissions officers are very selective and try to find someone who is different and not the average teenager.

The college essay in particular is one of the most important essays students will write. Students are put into a situation where they must separate themselves from their peers and wow the admissions officers. “It’s very hard to write about yourself, and then trying to focus on something that stands out to admissions and speaks to who you are. It’s a tough chore,” explained Rebolini. It’s a time when students must answer the question, who are you, really? For many students, this is their first time finding that special something that makes a spark (marks a rare quality or characteristic within them), digging beneath the surface and writing about themselves in a way that they haven’t done before. It’s hard for students to think of something that is interesting to admission officers, something that is not easily discernible from their transcript. Students must grasp the task, and answer the ultimate question, “Who are you, really?” For some, this is not a tough nut to crack, but for others it becomes quite the struggle. This class really helps puts things into perspective (and focuses) on who the student is and what they have to offer.

The college essay writing class is an excellent resource for students who may need help finding their inner voice and develop a writing strategy that gets the attention of the admissions counselors. Alexandra, a soon-to-be senior explains, “I had a clear idea of what I wanted to write about but it was hard to get started, Mr. Rebolini really helped me with beginning my story. Mr. Rebolini is great to bounce ideas off of, and this class is so small and relaxed so we all get to share ideas and brainstorm,” and she added, “I’m pretty confident with my rough draft.”

Dr. Teresa Prendergast, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, explained, “We are trying to find a way to help students succeed by lifting some of the weight of the college application process from their shoulders. If you are a student who has a summer job or who is going away, the fall class would be ideal.” The class meets for five evening sessions: Sept. 24-26, and Oct. 1 and 2 in Room 130 at the high school. The course costs $50 and registration is through the Continuing Education Fall Catalog which will be mailed to homes in mid-August. The catalog will also be posted on the district website ( under District Offices.