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How to Finish Your College Essays in Time for Submission

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If you’re reading this, odds are you’re staring at your calendar while a single bead of sweat drips down your face. First, get a tissue. Blot. Next, get comfortable; you’re about to accomplish something spectacular.

In order to finish all of your college essays—we’re talking the Common App essay, UC essays, supplemental essays, COVID essays, etc.—with mere days before the deadline, you’re going to have to be strategic and focused.

1 – Get Organized

To make this avalanche of essays feel more manageable, make a list or a spreadsheet of all the essays you need to write, when you need to write them by, and how long they need to be. See if any of the prompts overlap, and if they do, make a plan for writing one essay and recycling it to meet the needs of two or more schools.

2 – Start Brainstorming

For supplemental essays, instead of brainstorming for each niche prompt, ask yourself: What do I want admissions to know about me? What stories do I want to tell? 

3 – Mix and Match

Then match your essay ideas to the prompts on your list. Some of them might fit in mysterious ways. For example, your idea for an essay about playing pickup basketball with the kids from your neighborhood might work as both an activity essay AND a community essay.

4 – Set Alarms for Breaks

Writing for eight hours straight sounds terrible—don’t do it! Give yourself a 15-minute break every hour or a 30-minute break every two (that’s enough time to watch an episode of Nailed It!). Your brain and body will thank you.

5 – Know When to Ask for Help

If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, it’s time to find somebody to lean on. Here at College Essay Advisors, we’re not only experts at storytelling, grammar, and competitive eating (okay, maybe just the first two), we also know how to work efficiently under pressure. So long as you’re as committed to the process as we are, we will jump right into the hole you’ve found yourself in and help you dig yourself out.

Roll up your sleeves. It’s time to write!

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