Writes of passage

The other day a friend mentioned it would soon be time for prom. Not for us, of course—she and I are light years away from that high school rite of passage—but for her friend’s daughter.

As she talked, I couldn’t help but think of all it entailed. Formal dance finery comprising snappy suits with gleaming, spit-shined shoes and elegant dresses paired with sky-high heels. An overpriced dinner, probably, and for some a lifetime’s worth of anticipation.

It made me think, too, about SN&R’s annual College Essay Contest and the anticipation and expectations that it, too, signals.

Consider it another ritual of sorts. Each year SN&R asks high school area seniors to submit essays on the topic of their choice. The contest, which follows most students’ college application process, is a chance for aspiring college freshmen to share their histories and hopes for the future, their dreams, fears, struggles and accomplishments.

Those carefully crafted words can lead to cold, hard cash, too. The contest is sponsored by local businesses and there’s a $2,000 prize for the first-place winner, $1,000 for the second-place winner and $500 for a runner-up. Tuitions may be sky-high but those prizes can fund textbooks and supplies, rent and food, etc.

Each year we receive numerous entries; picking the top entries is among the hardest and most rewarding tasks we get to undertake.

The contest closes at 5 p.m. Friday, April 22, and the winning essays, along with honorable mentions, will be featured in an upcoming issue. Visit www.newsreview.com/collegeessay to find out more.