Timeline for writing an application essay

Writing an application essay is not something you can put off until the day before it needs to be submitted. Since it's your ticket into college, it needs to be well written, thought out, and most importantly not rushed. You may be asking yourself, "How am I supposed to get all of this done then? What's the best plan for me in order to get this done without stressing myself out?" Here is a guideline for you to follow, though you do not have to follow it step by step.

SEPTEMBER.

You should already have been looking at colleges that you may want to apply to for a while, so now as September rolls around, it's time to start requesting applications, or filling out online applications. Make sure to find out all costs and deadlines that you have to meet. If you're interested in any scholarships, make sure to research them.

On each website there should be certain essay questions that you have to answer, format, or a prompt to guide your essay on. Once you have this prompt, begin to brainstorm and jot down any and all ideas you may have and begin to draft your essay.

OCTOBER.

Make sure to get used to all the prompts you're given.  Think of different approaches to work with on all of them. If you can use the same essay for two different colleges, that's great. Most of the time, some essays require some changes here and there in order to fit a new prompt a different college has given you.

This month it will be mandatory to focus on your essay. Make sure not to just do one draft and be finished. Get teachers or other trusted adults to review your essays once or even twice and ask for feedback or editing so that you can have a clean cut essay.

NOVEMBER.

Finalize your essays and make sure to make a final draft of your application essay and get one last final review of all of them with someone you trust to give you honest feedback.

Do not get frustrated with yourself over any of this process. While it's an important time, overstressing about college applications can be extremely unhealthy, and this is the month that you’re most likely to really start feeling the pressures of stress. If you find yourself worrying too much, make sure to take a step away for at least a day and then come back to it.

DECEMBER.

This is usually deadline month, and is the most important time for an application. If you want to look over your essays one more time, feel free to do so, but do not miss your deadline for your applications! If you're absolutely positive about the status of your essay, you can even submit it early.

Hopefully these guidelines will help you get into college. Always remember that planning something out will really help alleviate your stress.

Posted by February 12th, 2014