Staying on top of deadlines can be hard, especially when you have to submit a slew of applications on the same night. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I have a tendency to wait until the last minute, so if you’re reading this, you’ve come to the right place because you can benefit from what I learned when submitting apps last Fall.
When I first processed how many essays needed to be written and that they were all due within a few days of each other, I finally embraced the advice that my mother’s been telling me for years: (1) set reminders and create lists, (2) set a time frame, and (3) trust the process.
Here are those tips that helped me beat the 11:59 deadline — don’t worry, I won’t overwhelm you with details,
1. Set Reminders and Create Lists
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend an umpteen number of hours on your phone, maybe watching YouTube, browsing Netflix, or scrolling through Instagram. For the sake of college admission — and your sanity — use the phone more practically. I want you to take your phone, right now, and look for the reminders app, if you have an iPhone. If you have another device, look for your version of the application. No worries if you don’t have the application on your phone. There are plenty of free apps.
Now, create your list of reminders. Type down anything and everything you can think of. It’s better off stored in your phone than crowding your mind; you need a clear mind to help blow the admissions teams away! Like clockwork, your phone will notify you whenever you need to complete a task. Easy, right? Yes, but there is a trick. For this system to be effective, you must stop what you’re doing and complete the task the moment you’re notified.
If you’d rather not set reminders on your phone, that’s fine too. The traditional pen and paper route can work as well. However, make sure you keep the list nearby, or your tasks may slip your mind.
2. Set a reasonable timeframe
First, think about what you’re trying to achieve. In this case, it’s completing your college applications. Next, think about how you work. Are you able to sit down, focus, and write an essay? Perhaps you’re a slower writer and the ideas take longer to flow. Either way, learn what type of writer you are so that you can determine how long the process will take. Finally, after completing the first two steps, set a personal deadline, which must be at least two weeks prior to the application due date.
3. Trust the process
If you’re prolonging the essay portion of the application process because you’re having anxiety about what to write, just remember this: this is about you and you only. The admissions officers want to know more about you, and it’s up to you to convey your best self to them. My advice to you is to trust in yourself and in your abilities because you are your biggest advocate.
Adhering to deadlines is difficult, and it can be especially difficult if you do not have a solid game plan. Hopefully, these quick tips and tricks will help you beat the 11:59 heat!
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