Character Limits Are For Thugs

Seriously, what kind of college establishes a character limit? You’re making us do extra work. Word shows us a handy dandy running word count at the bottom of the screen but characters? We have to actually go and hunt that down. We don’t get to watch the number go up as we type. Not nearly as fun or easy.

One of the colleges I’m applying to, as you may have guessed, has a character limit on their essay. Which is not only odd and ghetto, but also a pain in the ass. I’m not complaining about having to hunt down the character count. That only takes 2 seconds. My problem is with their exact character limit.

1,000 characters. Characters. Do you know how much writing that is? Really not that much. A miniscule amount. For example, this post is currently at (finishing right here) 781 characters. They count spaces, which is even more ghetto and lame. What if I like to say really long, sophisticated words? If I frequent my speech with all my SAT vocabulary that is now imbedded firmly into my brain?

1,000 characters is not enough. Not nearly enough. Especially when asking me why I want to attend your school. I can barely get my thoughts out in that amount of characters. Squeezing my story in that amount of space, while still retaining my voice, is far more difficult than responding to another prompt with a 500 word answer. The longer the answer, the more I am able to express myself. The less I have to carefully choose my words, and cut out everything except the most essential words. Which, if you haven’t noticed, is not how I write. Not when I’m writing personally about myself. I ramble. I add random bits of information and go off on tangents. Just look at last week’s TCC. I’m not saying I’m going to stick some random, pointless anecdote in my essay, but it’s nice to be able to add a little bit of personal flair with my words.

I’m being robbed of my words.

Next week: A reflection on finishing the first of my apps, and where to go from there. Or something along those lines. I haven’t written it yet nor have I sent in any applications. Scheduling, baby, scheduling.


2 Responses to Character Limits Are For Thugs

  1. Pingback: The College Chronicles Index « Uncreative Writing

  2. somewhatokay says:

    Oh, I hate word limits… especially the 250 word limit.. like wtf??? What can you learn about me in 250 words?

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