So often students have every earnest intention to complete their Common Application over the summer and, all too often, they fall short of their goals. We get it - there are a lot of things that are more interesting to do and “summer brain” takes over. But we’ve learned that the crunch time for college applicants isn’t that much feared “Junior Spring.” Rather, students typically feel the most stressed and the most over-worked in the fall of their senior year. Not only do their grades play an important role in admissions decisions, but they are also taking the SAT/ACT for the last time, playing fall sports, leading the clubs they’ve been voted President of, making final visits to colleges, and interviewing. It’s a lot and to add to all of this, the college application deadlines are looming.
Our advice to rising seniors is to set weekly goals for yourself about what parts of your college application process you will tackle each week. Visiting campuses, contacting regional representatives, creating a résumé, or putting together an arts portfolio can all be done over the summer. Finally, start filling out the Common Application. Most of this can be done in an hour of concerted effort (not including the essay or supplemental materials). The Common App has announced new changes to their platform which will be rolled out next month, but there is no reason not to start your Common Application now.
Sometimes just starting is the hardest thing so remember: Well begun is half done. The work you can get done over the summer will make your senior fall less stressful.