This year you should be thankful for family, football, sweet potatoes, Cool Whip, food comas, Missy Elliott, and a long weekend. Thanksgiving always marks one of the last major breaks that college applicants have to write their essays before the final deadlines start to arrive. The reality of the looming deadlines weighs more heavily than that pound of mashed potatoes in your stomach, and the barrage of college-related questions from long-lost relatives is more suspect than your aunt’s “experimental” string bean casserole. Don’t let stress poison your weekend. Use this time to enjoy your family and take control of your remaining applications with these essential tips for stress and time management.
You may feel like this so-called “break” is overrun with travel and family activities, but you can still set aside a small amount of time each day to devote to your essay. Give yourself that gift and remember that you don’t have to write the whole thing in one day. What can you accomplish in 15 minutes? Can you write a paragraph? How about one line? Take small steps. Chip away at your essay the same way you would slowly clean your plate after your third helping of turkey and stuffing. Every inch you type gets you closer to the final draft.
Emotions can run high at family gatherings, especially if you are already stressed to begin with. The thing is, kindness usually begets kindness, and sharing a happy moment with one of your relatives can melt your stress away.
So maybe you don’t think of yourself as a planner, and maybe calendars make you cringe, but trust us on this: getting organized can be a huge stress reliever as you enter crunch time. For some people, this could mean setting daily goals and deadlines, and for others it could simply mean compiling a list of all of the essay prompts and deadlines for your school list. Whichever camp you fall in, take this opportunity to wrangle all of your supplemental essays so you know what you’re up against. Taking control of this crazy process can have calming side-effects equal to that of two helpings of turkey.