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Stage of Life® is a writing community designed for college bloggers.  Get involved with our writing mission by sharing your life experiences, entering our writing contests for college students, explore our goal setting resources, and review our college blogs about entertainment, statistics about college students, teen trend reports and more.  Wherever you are in college, whether you're a freshman or a senior, we look forward to reading your essays about your college experiences, fears, challenges, and triumphs.  Starting writing today...

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Essay Winners

Recent Teen Writing Contest Winners

Teen Blogging WinnersBefore you scroll down to read the essays being submitted by our teen writers and bloggers, let's celebrate the recent essay winners.  If you want to see if your essay was a finalist - check out our monthly teen trend report summary for each writing contest.  And don't forget to submit your story for our current writing contests for students!
Current 2014 Writing Contests for High School and College Students...

Teen Writing Contest Details


Winning Teen EssayMarch 2014 Writing Contest Winner
Essay Prompt:  "How has mental illness impacted your life?"
Winning Essay: March Madness: Fibs and Femurs for Dinner by EmilyLouise
National Press Release: View Stage of Life Press Releases

Winning Teen EssayFebruary 2014 Writing Contest Winner
Essay Prompt:  "How do you define the Olympic Spirit?"
Winning Essay: The Olympic Spirit: War Without Blood by hannaheareckson
National Press Release:  View Stage of Life Press Releases

Winning Teen EssayJanuary 2013 Writing Contest Winner
Essay Prompt:  "What are your hopes and fears for 2014?"
Winning Essay: Dear Me: Living in the present is more beautiful than you could ever imagine by evanscd
National Press Release:  View Stage of Life Press Releases

Past Writing Contest WinnersPAST CONTEST WINNERS:  Find past writing contest winners, runner's up, and finalists in our Teen Trend Reports and Writing Contest Archive.

Read College Stories

It’s a sweltering, humid summer night, the kind that discourages movement, not because of reluctance for physical exertion, but because your sweaty legs are stuck to whatever cool surface you’ve managed to affix yourself to. You started the night on Youtube, it ended on Youtube, but between those two times it would be incorrect to say you existed solely plastered to the cool bedroom bedroom floor. You began by looking for that music video you heard in your friend’s car yeste...
There are people in the world gifted with the voice of angels and no this is not a metaphor. People actually exist in this world that have such a clear and pure voice that it immediately touches your heart. And trust me, it's not the lyrics even if they're just as amazing as the voice because well for one, the lyrics are in an alien language to me.(Not really alien, just Japanese. :)) When I heard this song...it changed my life. The lyrics for one are just downright brutally ...
In 2008, I discovered a YouTube channel after reading John Green’s Looking for Alaska. I didn't realize then that the channel would change my life. The Vlogbrothers have since become one of the most popular channels among young adults, and have formed a community around their videos called Nerdfighters. A project that started between the two brothers John and Hank Green has gone on to inspire young people to do amazing things. Nerdfighters are actively trying to decrease th...
I never cared about it at first. The internet was still a strange world to me that I was still discovering. I never thought it would change or impact anyoess life, not even myself. But signing up for one of my first social accounts, which was Youtube, little that I knew that its just a another world to be discovered. Today as I see and watch these endless amounts of videos, which over 1 billion users visit each month, it has become the center of our generation, and to think i...
The brain is probably my favorite part of people to explore. There are so many different characters out there in real life; the results of cracking through someone’s inner shell seem infinite. You never know what will surface after that bond is made. The after party when everyone is either gone or passed out. That one person you’ve spent the whole night with has finally maxed out his defenses on rum and repressed emotions. You and he sit on the bed in his ...
YouTube has impacted me a lot actually. I am gay so just like any LGBTQ teen I struggled a lot with my sexuality, I turned to YouTube as a way to gain confidence with who I was. I was realizing who I was as an individual not quite understanding these conflicting feelings, when I started to watch all the gay You Tuber's it made things a lot easier for me to cope with. Seeing there was other people out there who went through the same struggles was great. YouTube is such a grea...
May 24, 2014 I'm sitting in a hole in the wall bar, Rumours in Canon City, Colorado- the temperatureis cold and the air insanely dry. Of course, people are drunk; wayward walking and gargling their words but among this classic picture of a small town Saturday night is a sound that has the ability to open ears. Forget all the gossip and cheeky small talk- let's listento the band, a little rock and roll- a little blues. A group called the Crowning Kings. Small really to s...
In high school and even my first year of college not every teach or professor taught in a way that I learned something quickly. Sometimes I would turn to YouTube to learn something that I may not have fully grasped in the classroom. All through out my years in school I was more of a hands on learner than if someone was to just explain something to me and expect me to have full understanding. When a teacher played a video or physically showed me I could learn quickly and have ...
Meme was my grandmother. She was the most loving grandparent I have had in my life. She never judged me whenever I told her how I felt or what happened in my life and what reaction I had. She supported me throughout my life and never let me down. She went to every dance recital that I ever took part in.And then tragedy struck. She became so very sick. Her kidneys began to act up. She ended up on dialysis every day for about a year. She was in and out of the hospital cons...
When I was in secondary school, I knew YouTube as one thing – a hub for music videos. I remember streaming my favourite songs in High definition and playing them repeatedly. I would play the official videos several times. And I would watch the videos with lyrics, so I could sing along with my friends. Now, in the university, YouTube is so much more to me. When my attention forsakes me and I stop taking notes; I simply go back to my dorm, flip open my laptop an...
I remember watching the very first episode of “America’s Best Dance Crew” where Kaba Modern was the last to perform. With the stereotypical story of Asian American young adults pursuing dance dreams without the support of family, I immediately thought, “This group BETTER be good!” Because it was so rare that Asians were featured on mainstream television, I felt like I was sending pressure energy to Kaba Modern to represent well for the entire Asian population in the U.S. It t...
When I was younger, my grandmother told me stories of The Greats. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa – people who changed the world by changing themselves. I told myself then – I wanted to change the world. I just didn’t know how. When I was eleven, I read a poem by Maya Angelou. Then I realised, that words could change the world. Words could make a difference. Words hurt but words worked. In my time here, I’ve learnt how to love others with my words. L...
Colleagues, teachers, and family: Thank you for being here to witness this ceremony as we, the class of 2015, move on to the next phase in our lives. High school has been preparing us for this day for four years now and the time has finally come to sink our teeth into the adult world. These past years have taught us, among many other things, to communicate with others, to work hard to reach a goal, and, overall, they have taught us the value of knowledge. It has provided us...
Although I've never went to a commencement speech, I still think I have a good idea on what I want to say to this graduating class. Teenagers are encouraged in this generation to be themselves in general so that they can truly enjoy their life. Besides being yourself in general, this can also apply to finding a job. Many of my teachers have given my classes 'pep talks' about how numerous of their acquaintances hate their job. That is probably the worst way to spend the rest o...
If I were a commencement speaker, I would start off with an introduction. “Hello Everybody! How is everyone. I am honored to be here.” Everything like that, which is always usual for a commencement speaker to say. I would then perhaps honor the occasion. Being a commencement speaker, I must understand that it is not about me, but rather I am simply here to honor the occasion of graduation. The audience isn’t here for me, I am here for the audience. I must understand that t...
GRADUATION Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as graduands. The date of graduation is often called graduation day. The graduation itself is also called commencement, convocation or invocation, though in some cases inaccurately.[1] In the United States and Ca...
The jaded side of my nineteen-year-old psyche is particularly off put by graduation ceremonies, which seem to be little more than an easy way for a university to squeeze a few more dollars from debt-saddled graduates by selling them static-filled polyester robes and mortarboard caps. Ridiculously dressed thus, these graduates are then sent into a lifelong battle with the “real world,” shielded only by flimsy—albeit costly—pieces of paper inside cardboard frames.Over the p...
As this semester wraps up and I've taken my final major requirements, I've found myself being very reflective and nostalgic about the professors I've had. Today was the last day of classes and our senior seminar professors sent us of with a discussion about graduate school They shared their personal experiences and answered many of our questions and curiosities about life as a graduate student. Both professors have a love for education that I admire. As they answered my quest...
As a treat to myself for making it through this semester I am purchasing a learners guitar. I've always wanted to learn so I am going adding it to my summer list of accomplishments. My little brother has a love for instruments so I was thinking of surprising him with his own learners guitar as well. That way we can I'll have someone to experiences this with and the perspective of a six year old is something I love to learn. I loving doing things with him so this will make gre...
I used to be a little diva back in the day... I grew up taking tap, ballet, and jazz classes, I participated in dance recitals, and I would blow a kiss to the audience at curtain calls. I lost that girl. I still dance when no ones watching, but I forgot how to dance like no one is watching. My mom will get angry at me for not coming out to the dance floor with her at family parties. I don't know what happen but at some point I became hyper-aware of all of the eyes in the room...
I've been watching a few of the shows that remake peoples backyards. One in particular continually features creating planters boxes for growing fruits and vegetables. I've become really interested in the idea of growing my own food and I think this is a place to start. I want to do some research before I dive into it of course, so I don't waste any money or time and effort on a garden. Have you ever tasted fruit or vegetables from someones garden and noted the comparison in s...
I wanted to minor in photography but I chose creative writing because I want to get a master's in the field. I like many others love taking pictures when I get a chance to travel. I've always had interest for the story that comes along with the captured moment. I wanted to study photojournalism but I feel like I need to learn how to take photographs like a professional. I've researched for classes in the area that are offered that let me learn technique without having to go t...
I had the pleasure of attending the Spring Poetry Festival this week. I was able to catch up with my poetry professor and mentor. We started out with a drum circle courtesy of Judy Alban and Chris Davis. It was a perfect way to break the ice and unite the crowd. The featured poet, Christine Lincoln, decided to keep the circle for her reading. She told the audience she was nervous reading her work, but she didn't show it. She has a wonderful presence when she reads, she is lik...
When I was young, love was simple. The transition from catching playground cooties to scooting a prom corsage over your wrist was nothing more than those paper finger “fortune-teller” games, cheesy valentine’s cards and nervous invitations. Boy, have times changed.Long gone are the days of undiluted conversations and straightforward application of romantic intent. Certainly, years ago there were parents, morals and values to overcome, but those hurdles are nothing compared...
Steven DeulusPeriod 44-29-14Teenagers in Love I woke up one morning hearing my mom call to everybody in the house. She said, “everybody wake up we are going to Santa Cruz.” I asked my mom if my friend can come to Santa Cruz with us and she said yes. I called up Louy to tell him to get up and get ready. We got all ready and we were on the go. The drive was not too bad, but once we got there it was worth it. It was a bright and sunny day, the birds chirping and kids ru...
i have never been in love or in a relationship till today. i do not even know if i ever had crush on somebody or if i have liked a guy. it is said that friendship is the first step towards love. there was a time till 26th april, 2014 i also thought so but now i do not consider it. i am having a very good friend of mine with whom i used to talk a lot on phone during the starting of our friendship and he proposed me and i declined it's a...
I finally have the poster for my senior seminar research presentation up and ready to go. All of us had a sense of relief but we still have the actual presentation to live through this Thursday at 2:00 pm. We've been preparing for this moment all semester! Our presentations will occur in front of many of the professors in the writing department. I am a little anxious about it. At this point I'm fine with speaking in front of an audience because I've done it so many times duri...
Every day as I drive down Main Street during the local high school’s lunch period, I get small glimpses of teenage love. Couples pave the walkways, hands intertwined with one another, as they stroll down to the pizzeria, taco shop, and coffee houses for the afternoon meals. As they walk in masses, they only see one another. They are smiling, laughing, swinging their hands back and forth, and clasping to these moments in which they feel invincible. For them, this forty mi...
I am considering continuing school for a master's degree in creative writing but the schools I've considered so far all require students to choose an area of focus in either poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. I realize choosing one doesn't mean I'll never write for the other genres again, but I enjoy each focus equally. I have taken each subject as a course for my creative writing minor now, and I've enjoyed each class. Actually all three of the courses have been my favorite ex...
When a panic attack begins to strike, nothing else around you matters. The future and the past both seem equally impossible to mentally comprehend, while physically, the body falls prey to its own defenses: a friendly fires casualty in the most psychological and physiological of senses. First, the lungs begin to choke, restricting tightly within the rib cage, and the fear of death by suffocation appears very likely. The chest rages and pinches and burns like an ...

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Past Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of our past writing contests and teen trend reports from the last four years. Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with teachers, teens, and college students as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2014 Writing Contests

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StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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