With many college application deadlines looming on Jan. 1, December can be a cold awakening for high school seniors. Heed the following advice to ensure that your application essays get completed amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday events, coupled with the pressure of regular school and extracurricular commitments.
Create a Timeline
When time is of the essence, creating a personalized timeline is an important first step. Set aside approximately a month — for procrastinators, no less than two weeks — to finish all your essays.
As you design your writing schedule, think about what time of day you tend to think most clearly and whether you would prefer to work a little on each essay every day or on only one at a time but for a longer period.
[Read: How to Write a College Essay.]
In addition, aim to leave between five days and a week for the paramount editing phase. Bear in mind, too, that the time each of your reviewers will need may vary and that they may not get back to you as quickly as they normally would because of the holidays. The bottom line is to allow for enough editing time so that no one involved feels pressured or stressed during the holidays.
Stay Motivated and Focused
If you are struggling to come up with ideas for your essays or to complete them, you may need to get out of your routine for a while. Think about which activities galvanize your creative circuits — working out, going for a long drive, watching movies, meeting up with friends?
Do whatever you need to do to recharge your battery so that you can sit down to work on your college essays feeling happy and motivated.
Just make sure to ditch your phone for a while and ask others at home not to bother you, as distractions will only hinder the creative process.
Write Something, Even if It’s Not Great
Getting started is generally the hardest part of any writing assignment. Writing about yourself can add an element of self-consciousness that makes it even harder. But the key to defeating writer’s block is writing.
[Read: College Essay Examples: How to Write Your Story.]
So write, even if you know what you’re writing isn’t very good. You may stumble on a sentence you like, and you can build around it while deleting the rest. Or, you might find that the example you liked isn’t easy to explain after all, so you need to try another approach. But at least now you know and have plenty of time to try again.
Everything you write — even if it ends up getting deleted later — is progress. And with deadlines coming up quickly, you need that progress.
Tips for the Editing Phase
Approach it with a serious, professional mindset. Editing is every bit as crucial a phase as writing, but because it comes so close to essay submission it …….