All applicants hear during the college planning process that they should space out their applications to avoid application stress. This is especially true when it comes to applications that are due at the end of the calendar year. That’s because of an annual factor that we enjoy, but seldom factor in as an obstacle to planning: the holidays. This article will take you through some pointers on finishing apps before the holidays, so you can enjoy yourself instead.
With all the festivities and traveling that may occur, it’s crucial that an applicant’s package is in good shape. Most importantly, it should be in good shape before distractions start piling up. With all the inherent stress of college planning, applicants should not make it any harder. Not to mention, no one wants to have to miss out on the great activities associated with the festive seasons in order to finish college applications.
Start early, with a plan for December
As with many big deadlines, college planning is no different; it’s best to start early and leave time for edits and revisions. With that in mind, applicants should know ahead of time how the month of December can be scheduled around the holiday season. Applicants: if you’re reading this and don’t know, find out ASAP!
From there, applicants should take a similar approach to how they did applications with earlier deadlines. Given that most essays have a modest word limit, applicants should focus on answering the prompt in the the most direct and concise way possible. One of the hardest parts about essay writing is first coming up with a subject to write about and address the prompt. Once the applicant has an idea in mind, the essay would come naturally and a first draft isn’t too far off.
The importance of first drafts
Above all else, the first draft is the key milestone when college planning around the holidays. By this time, the essays should already have a basic infrastructure set in place. While it’s a lot harder to compose a full draft with distractions, it’s a lot easier to go through and edit an already completed piece of writing that just needs to be polished. Especially for applicants whose families are invested in their college planning process, applicants can even turn the holiday festivities into an opportunity to get more feedback from relatives and friends. Even if the applicant doesn’t adhere to all of their suggestions, it doesn’t hurt to have another set of eyes look over the applicant’s essay and pick up on small grammar errors.
To any applicant, college planning with the goal of finishing apps before the holidays still needs to be flexible. Ideally, you can factor in the distractions of the holiday season and work around them. It would be a shame for any applicant to have to spend their winter break cramming out essays while their family goes on a trip or does something fun. Starting early on apps has been a consistent maxim of college applications; but outside of just being proactive, the holiday season is one of if not the biggest incentives for applicants to finish the application season strong. So you can enjoy the end of year!