Why I Coach–Susie B.
Susie B., an expert Leland undergrad and writing coach, outlines why she chooses to coach and what it means to her.
By Susie B.
February 3, 2023
Several years ago, I was involved in a life-altering accident. In the blink of an eye, I went from life as I had always known it to facing a complicated recovery journey that ended with a frightening unknown: there was a chance I’d never fully recover. To top it off, I was unable to find anyone else who had experienced my unique set of injuries and symptoms.
It felt like I had been dropped off at the bottom of Mount Everest — completely alone — and expected to climb it without any training, or even a clear picture of what the summit looked like.
In a word, impossible.
And it surely would have been, if not for indispensable support and mentorship from scores of family, friends, neighbors, doctors and therapists. I began to regard them as my Sherpas — the literal backbone of my summiting expedition.
At the beginning of their college essay writing journey, most students feel like they’ve been dropped off at the bottom of Mount Everest and expected to climb it without a clear picture of what the summit even looks like. Not only are they expected to climb and summit, but they’re expected to do it better and smarter and with more panache than most of their fellow climbers.
As a writer, I’ve successfully summited multiple mountains in the form of published articles and columns. My writing journey hasn’t always been smooth (I’d give almost anything to retract a few of my pieces!), but the experience has been invaluable. I’ve learned how to write better and smarter and, on an especially good day, with panache. And none of that would have been possible without Sherpas like family, fellow writers, mentors, editors and readers.
I coach because I know what it feels like to be at the bottom of a mountain and in desperate need of a Sherpa. I coach because my years of accumulated knowledge and experience have equipped me to be the Sherpa students need. And finally, I coach because I love helping students succeed in writing compelling, memorable college essays that get them one step closer to achieving their dreams.
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