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Articles / Applying to College / Admissions Pros and Cons of Teen-Writers Blog?

Jan. 5, 2010

Admissions Pros and Cons of Teen-Writers Blog?

Question: I have always enjoyed writing, and have recently begun keeping a journal. It sounds sappy and sophomoric, but, it makes me happy. This has sparked in me an interest in possibly starting a blog centering around teen writing. The blog would include posts featuring noteworthy writing contests for students, writing tips, and highlights in the realm of literature , specifically, writers popular amongst the teenage set.

I was sort of curious as to how such an endeavor might be perceived by an admissions committee; good, bad, odd? Is this just insanity at its finest, an eleventh grader starting a blog? Even feasible? Any insight is appreciated.


There are already a number of Web sites, blogs, and online magazines that feature work by teen writers as well as other pertinent information. "Teen Ink" is probably the best known, but there are lots of others ... some initiated by adults and others by younger aspiring authors. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't take a shot at your own vision of what such a blog could be, but do approach the project knowing that it's not unique.

As far as admission officers go, certainly they would view your project as time well spent. But will it offer you a really big boost at decision time? At the most selective colleges, probably not ... unless your blog is especially entertaining or has a unique angle that makes it stand apart from the others.

Alternatively, perhaps you can write an entire novel yourself ... whether you use your current journal as a starting point or come up with an unrelated idea. Lots of college-bound students proclaim in their applications that they love to write. But, if you can actually prove that claim with a finished novel (even if it's not yet a published novel), then this might catch an admission officer's eye.

I'm not saying to skip the blog entirely. But my advice is to do it only if you want to give it a try for its own sake and not just for its potential as application fodder.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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