I'm currently working on a very long essay about my college experience. I want to talk for a minute about word count:
I've had this blog for about three years now, and I've written an average of 32,000 words per year.
It's not fair to say that I would have done this if I'd had the blog in college, since I have more free time now. I was in graduate school for 3 semesters, from Fall 2011-Fall 2012. I think my word count while in grad school would most accurately reflect what I would have done at Colby.
To make it simple, I was in grad school for the full year of 2012, in which I wrote 27,000 words.
To make it complicated, I wrote an average of 22,500 words per year the whole time I was in grad school.
Let's take the most conservative estimate, 22,500 words per year. Over the course of 4 years, I should have written 90,000 words.
My current essay is nowhere near that mark. It's approaching 40,000 and will probably be edited down to about 30,000.
My point here is, regardless of how ridiculously long that might seem, it's nowhere near what I would have had if I'd been writing honestly about my feelings all along.
Update: Final Word Count = 34,000