The first part of the college application checklist involved a good deal of research, list making, and staying on top of things to make sure everything was in order. Now that you have all of that done, it’s time to actually get things organized, written, and wrapped up.
Something that high school seniors seem to dread is writing the college essay. They’ve been hearing about it for years, and often times feel a good deal of pressure around writing it. It doesn’t need to be this way.
Your essay needs to be a reflection of your values, personality, and writing style. Don’t get caught up in thinking about what admissions staff want to read. This is an exercise in futility, because you can never know. Write something that is true to who you are, and you will be fine.
6.) Brainstorm college essay topics.
This is the only part of the application where your personality can come through, so some thought needs to go into it. The essay should be something you feel strongly about, and should give the reader a sense of who you are and what you value. Make it count!
7.) Get teacher recommendations.
Generally, colleges like two teacher recommendations and one from a guidance counselor. Getting an early jump on this is vital, as the popular teachers get inundated with requests, and can only do so many of them. You need to get your requests out early, so they don’t say no. After they agree to write one for you, make it easy on them by providing all of the materials they need, well in advance of deadlines.
8.) Write your college essay.
Once you have narrowed down the topic, write a draft of your essay. Once this is completed, let a trusted person give it a read and tell you what they think of it. At Evolve, we recommend not letting too many sets of eyes see the essay. Everyone has an opinion, and while they are all valid and can be helpful, asking for too many of them simply isn’t productive. Once you make some changes and feel good about what you’ve written, you should also make sure someone looks it over for grammar and structure. You don’t want typos or other grammatical issues to detract from your masterpiece!
9.) The finish line is in sight now!
Gather your materials, making sure that all of the information on the Common App or the individual school application, is in order. Don’t wait until the night before the deadline to do this either, because if something is missing you are in big trouble at that point. There are more than likely thousands of students applying to the schools you are, so accepting late applications isn’t something that colleges consider.