Ah, summer. The perfect time for sun, pool parties, and working on your college applications. Yep! Summer is the perfect opportunity to start working on your college prep, especially the essay! To work on your college essays during the coming weeks, follow these tips:
Write Down Application Deadlines
If you have a planner, the first thing you’ll want to do is write down your college application deadlines. If you don’t have a planner, your first step is to get one! An app or program will do if you prefer to use your computer or your phone too!
You’ll want to write out each step in your college application process, due by dates for applications, and when you’d actually like to have each part done by. It’s a good idea to have your application done well ahead of time as bad things have a tendency to happen if you wait until last minute. You might find you’re missing an essential part of the application, your internet is out, or the college’s website is down and won’t accept submissions.
Decide on dates when you’d like to have your college essay drafts done by as well as when you’d like to have them completed. You’ll also want to decide whether or not you’re applying to early action.
Brainstorm College Essay Ideas
Brainstorming is an essential part of the essay process. Consider what you can write about. What is the school asking? How can you make yourself stand out among the crowd? If you’re unsure what to write about, consider asking your friends or family for advice. They might come up with a subject you didn’t think of! Keep a running list.
Research is also important during this stage. Try searching what schools look for in a college essay and what you should avoid. For example, sports tends to be an overdone topic and although you want to show what makes you unique in your essay, you don’t want to come across as bragging.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’d like to write about, it’s time to start writing. If you’d like, you can make a bullet point list of topics you want to cover in the piece, but that is up to you. But definitely start on a draft and get to work.
Once you complete the draft, give it to someone you trust to read over and edit. This may be a parent, another family member, or another adult in your life. You may also want to wait until you see a teacher you trust. Just make sure you’re sticking to your deadlines and have your final copy ready to go when you need it.
College essays are an important part of a school’s application and you should never leave it until last minute, which makes summer between your junior and senior years the perfect opportunity to start working on it. Taking the time to write out deadlines, plan ahead, brainstorm, and really dedicate time to your piece will ensure you have yours ready to go on time and written to the best of your ability!
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