One of the common things all applicants are told during the college planning process is that they should space out their applications to avoid any unnecessary application stress. This is especially true when it comes to applications that are due at the end of the calendar year.
This is due to a factor that many applicants look forward to but seldom consider as an obstacle to college planning, the holiday season. With all the festivities and traveling that may occur, it’s crucial that an applicant’s package is in good shape before distractions start piling up. With all the inherent stress of college planning, applicants should not make it any harder and have to miss out on the great activities associated with the festive seasons in order to finish college applications.
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 their month of December should 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.
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 should factor in the distractions of the holiday season that may impede their application process and work around it. 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 they can enjoy the end of year.