Preparing for College

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.