This has become a yearly ritual that I look forward to – and an idea I’ve incorporated into my work with high school students on their college application essays and personal statements.
For the last five years, Ron Lieber, a financial reporter at the New York Times, has invited students who applied to college earlier in the year to send him their Common App essays if they’re about money, work, and/or social class. The Times then publishes five of them. To read last year’s choices, click here Ron Lieber’s motivation for starting the project was his curiosity about family dislocations brought on by the 2008 financial crash.
His idea has been a goldmine of fascinating stories – both those published in the Times and those that some of the students I work with have written about their own jobs and first encounters with making money. The jobs are often mundane – waitress, clerk, cashier or lifeguard – but the experiences lead to self-awareness, responsibilities and insights that can turn an ordinary job into a compelling story.
For how to submit your essay – deadline: April 25th – click on the article here and read the instructions. Students are invited to submit videos and visuals too. From the article:
“Please submit your essays to us by Wednesday, April 25, using the form on this page. We’ll publish a few of them during the first weekend in May and pay the writers our normal freelance rate.
“Also, anyone who wants to send in a bit of multimedia to go with the essay is welcome to do so below. Videos, Instagram Stories or Snapchat stories are all fine. If you are submitting a story from either Instagram or Snapchat, please download it and send it as a video file.
“Not including multimedia will not hurt your chances, but we’re open to the possibility that anything else you might want to include besides your words could bring your relationship with money to life.” READ IT ALL
If you’re interested in help with your essays for the upcoming year – Common App, Coalition, or supplements – please send me an email: Liz@DontSweatTheEssay.Com. Thanks for stopping by.