4 Reasons to Start Your College Essay This Week

When it comes to writing your college essay, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of procrastination. It’s easy to push essay composition to the back of your mind—until, before you know it, your time is running out. As the fall semester quickly approaches, there’s no better time to begin your essay than this week. Reasons to start your college essay this week include maximizing your free time, allowing for a lengthened feedback window, and preventing future stress.

College admissions deadlines will approach quickly—don’t let them sneak up on you. Keep reading to learn four reasons to start your college essay this week.

Start your college essay this week to allow time for brainstorming

You likely know from experience how difficult it can be to produce great work under a time crunch. By beginning your college essay now, you allow yourself time to brainstorm the content. If applicable, set aside time to review the 2018-2019 Common Application essay prompts.

Examine all of the prompts, and think about which one gives you the greatest opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and experiences. Remember that whichever question you choose, you should find a way to make yourself stand out. Also consider the school you're applying to—what is its mission, and what are the personal qualities the school is seeking? Identify these, and factor them into your prompt decision.

[RELATED: 4 Ways to Find Application Essay Writing Inspiration]

Start your college essay this week to maximize your free time

Once school is back in session, you will have a multitude of other responsibilities demanding your time and attention. From adjusting to a new class schedule to grasping new academic content, your college essay may quickly fall to the bottom of your to-do list. That being said, utilize the last bit of free time you have before classes start again to begin your admissions essay. Take this time to scope out what you would like your essay to include and outline potential content. Note all admissions deadlines you will encounter this fall. Writing these down in an organized manner can make the process feel less overwhelming.

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Start your college essay this week to allow time for feedback

As applies to any writing assignment, the more time you allow for revisions and outside feedback, the better chance you have of getting the results you desire. Your college essay should showcase your skills in self-awareness and critical thinking, and this takes time to craft. Follow the below process when tackling your college essay:

  • After you’ve written an initial draft, set it aside for a few days before coming back to it with a fresh outlook.

  • Once you feel confident in the essay’s direction, begin asking for help from others—guidance counselors, parents, teachers—to see what feedback they have.

At the end of the day, however, be sure the essay is still in your voice, reflects who you are, and illustrates to potential schools why you are worthy of admission.

[RELATED: 3 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor About College]  

Start your college essay this week to avoid excess stress later

As mentioned above, you’ll be much busier when school starts—meaning less time to focus on your college admissions tasks. Aside from the time constraints, you also don’t want the stress of college essays to interfere with your grades and classwork. Beginning the initial stages of your essay now will make the entire application process less stressful, and, in turn, ease your workload once school is underway.

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