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Essays come in all shapes and sizes. Some explore a topic, an argument, or a cause and effect, but all essays are organized, detailed, and convey a message. Some writers have learned to fear the word essay and others have a loose understanding of what the word implies.

By origin, essay derives from the French word essayer, meaning to try or to attempt.

This is what the college and independent school essays afford us - the opportunity to try to capture our unique stories in writing. We attempt to write in an unconventional format with enticing hooks, punchy lines, and thoughtful closers. We break the traditional bounds of essay assignments and reimagine how we express ourselves.

This is part of why I love the application essay. It is creative, nimble, flexible, and wholly unique. We try new topics, new words, and new formats. We attempt to convey a part of ourselves that we’ve never explored in writing. We stretch and experiment and dig. We try a new sentence structure and attempt to let our voice ring clear and true.

The essay asks us to take a leap of faith, as we try again and again until it is complete.

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