• Alison Merzel

FWIW go with the email or I'll be SMH.

DMs are the new texts. Texts are the new emails. Emails are the new letters.


While sometimes it feels like the days of email are going in the direction of delivering post by horse, it still holds an important and necessary role in our everyday communication. Emails are a quick and effective way of delivering important information, especially when the content exceeds 280 characters, includes attachments, or doesn't need an immediate response. Unfortunately, inboxes are overwhelmed with so much spam, promotional emails and other messages that it can be hard to sift through the junk to find the gold. Well-written emails, however, can demonstrate your strong communication skills and reflect the time and thought that went into crafting your message. They are also more formal than texting, so they are by nature more professional.


The prevalence of texting and messaging over social media apps has unfortunately limited students' opportunities to develop well-written, professional sounding emails. If a student needs to communicate that they will be missing class in the afternoon due to a doctor's appointment, the email shouldn't look like this:


Mrs. S - I have a dr. appt. this afternoon so I won't be in class. CU tmrw. Thx. Sally


A more appropriate email might read something like this:


Dear Mrs. Smith,

I have a doctor's appointment Thursday afternoon so I will be not be in class. I have let the high school office know as well. I will check Canvas for any assignments that are due. If there is anything else important that I am missing, please let me know. Thanks for your understanding. See you on Friday.


Sally Student


We have gotten in the habit of writing with abbreviations and short-hand because we are always trying to communicate quickly and move on to the next item on our to-do list. In many cases, parents, teachers, supervisors, colleagues, friends - anyone else with whom we communicate lets us get away with it. That is because they do it, too. Yet, in the world of college admissions, a little dose of professionalism can go a long way.


For example:


You want to demonstrate interest in your first choice college so you decide to reach out to the admission representative for your area with a question. What kind of impression do you want to give? A well-worded, polite and succinct email will undoubtedly leave a more favorable impression than a quickly assembled message filled with colloquialisms, acronyms or slang.


You had the opportunity to be interviewed by a university alumnus and you want to send a thank you note. Do you think they will be more impressed by a quick text thanking them for taking the time to talk to you, or a more formal email, recalling some of the information you discussed in your conversation, reiterating your enthusiasm for the college, and reminding them how your interests and goals align with the mission and culture of the campus?


If you feel a little rusty on your email etiquette, just practice. Draft a sample email and ask a parent or trusted friend or advisor to proofread it and give you feedback first.


Use every opportunity to help yourself stand out and communicate that you are someone who has the personality, skills, character, and maturity to be a successful contributor on their college campus. Then, when you get into college, send your family and friends as many texts and emojis as your heart desires.








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