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3 Easy Steps for Writing a Last-Minute College Essay

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last-minute college essay ideasHello, hopeless procrastinators. Yes, we know you’re out there. You’ve got your eye on one special school, you’ve been talking about applying early, you’ve been daydreaming about what it would be like to go to classes and stockpile cafeteria cookies in your dorm room, and you’ve – wait, what?! – you’ve got two weeks left to write an essay you have barely even thought about!

Right about now is when the panic starts to set in. Do you have enough time to craft a college essay that communicates your strengths and passions to admissions? Can you actually write a compelling personal statement? Yes you do and yes you can. But you’re probably going to need some help. And that’s why we made you a guide. Follow these three no-nonsense steps to craft a winning essay by making the most of the time you have left:

1. Cancel your plans.

You’re running low on time and there isn’t a single “hack” out there that will add more hours to your day. We know clearing your schedule doesn’t sound fun, but it’s one of the kindest decisions you can make for yourself. Create some space in your day that you can really devote to thinking about – and writing! – your essay(s) without distraction.

2. Start with a simple brainstorm

Give yourself 10-15 minutes and list the things you love. Paragraphs and complete sentences aren’t even necessary — just start to get your thoughts on the page and don’t stop writing. Feel free to list things that you hate, too. Once you have a robust compilation of things about which you feel passionately, take a step back. Which of your list items have the most writing potential? If you had to put pen to paper about one of those things right now, which would provide the most interesting and greatest number random pathways for you to explore?

3. Follow these simple video steps to pull together your first draft.

Spinning your best topic ideas into fully fleshed out essays is something we cover in detail in our video series, College Essay Academy. But what if you don’t have 20 minutes a day to devote to our in-depth lessons? Do you have three minutes? We made this YouTube crash course specifically for the time-challenged among you.

Now, it’s time to get to work. You’re not out of time just yet and we know you can do this!

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