Today I saw this article about the changes that adolescents go through, courtesy of Gayle Olsen in Tokyo, and it really made me think about kids, writing and their college essays. It indicates that kids need the help of parents even more as they go through adolescence, but in a different way. They need us to be the voice of reason, the guiding factor and the time organizer even when they yell at us while we do our jobs. These kids have so much pressure on them, and they are learning at the speed of light – it’s no wonder that they feel and experience everything so deeply that it makes our heads spin. It’s a wild and wonderful time and in certain ways we, as adults, are lucky that we can only remember bits and pieces of it.
Writing is often therapeutic in nature. People can write their way into discovering their true feelings on a topic. But it can also be scary because of that very fact – what if we find something out about ourselves on the page that we really didn’t want to uncover? That is part of the problem with the college essay we ask the kids to write. They have been taught textual analysis and literary criticism. They have even been taught to write a process and descriptive essay. But it is not often that they get to write about themselves in a raw and meaningful manner. And then there’s the fact that when the kids write about themselves, they don’t want their parents to see it. It can lead to some pretty major upset in the household when all of that comes together.
I like to say that life is a journey, so write it out. I can also help you and your kids write out yours.