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The Perfect Pace for Working on College Applications over the Summer

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working on college applications over the summerSummertime has officially arrived. The “strawberry moon” solstice has passed and there’s some good energy in the air (if you believe in that sort of thing!). Two major soccer championships are underway and the Summer Olympics are right around the corner. Big things are happening, guys! As any good stargazer or athlete knows, timing is everything, and summer is an amazing time to power through a lot of work on your college essay. You have to know where to start, though, and how to pace yourself appropriately. Starting early gives you a huge advantage, but there’s no reason to sprint. Use our calendar to pace out your work appropriately over the next three months, and keep an eye out for momentous dates on the horizon.

JULY: Have experiences!

Will you be working over the summer? Traveling? Volunteering? Become a keen observer of any and all of your summer experiences. Keep a journal or blog. Take photos. Sketch people. Do your best to document and reflect on everything you do and see. The more details you capture, the more vivid your essays will be. If you think you’re boring (which you’re not, btw), this summer will be the perfect time for you to shift this perspective

AUGUST: Start writing!

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: start early! If you didn’t watch College Essay Academy back in February, now is also a great time to get your introduction to the writing process. You can watch the whole series through or attack one episode at a time, following the step-by-step process. Either way, August is a perfect time to collect your notes, mine for memories, and pull together a draft of your Common App essay. You’ll be able to hit the ground running when school finally starts, and will probably impress your guidance counselor in the process. (By the way, the Common App platform will probably go live sometime this month, so set yourself up with an account ASAP and start getting acquainted with your new favorite website.)

SEPTEMBER: Keep writing!

If you say the beginning of the school year is hectic, we say: so what?! You’re only going to get busier as the year goes on (and the time until your deadline dwindles). Keep up the writing momentum that started in August and continue working and creating opportunities for small successes. (Pro tip: setting aside time to work with the tips in College Essay Academy and our newsletter on a weekly basis will help you maintain a good pace.)

Looking Ahead:

OCTOBER: Polish up your early application(s)!

NOVEMBER: Polish up your regular applications! (Yes, everyone.)

DECEMBER: Hit submit!

Still not sure where to start?
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