Hello Early Birds! Quick Tips for Finalizing Those Early Apps
It’s been exciting seeing so many of you completing your early apps and getting them submitted! Congrats and good luck to you all. 💙 🍀
For those of you still in the weeds — or even if you haven’t yet begun to dive in 😳, I want to remind you to take time this week to just breathe. Write your little asses off and do the best you can, but remember to pause and breathe.
- DO NOT wait until the very last minute or even hour. Something will go wrong. Your electricity will go out. You’ll come down with the flu. The Internet will go out. The zombie apocalypse will arrive. Your credit card won’t work. The website will crash. Your pet will have a crisis. Try to give yourself a day, but at the very least give yourself five hours of cushion time.
- Get up from your computer and walk around every hour or so. Go outside. Let your brain reset occasionally.
- Be sure to preview your essays after loading them into the app, and see that the spacing is the way you want it. Chrome will automatically bold your essays and add an extra paragraph space. You can easily unbold and remove the space.
- Read your essays OUT LOUD — to someone else if possible. You will notice missing words and funny verb tenses. Listen and feel for bumps. That’s where you need to edit. Make sure it sounds like you. Couple of hints:
- Read your essay to your phone recorder and then listen back for the bumps.
- Print up the preview copies and read it to look for bumps and typos.
- Read your sentences backward — the last sentence to first sentence. It will help you read the words on the paper and not what you think it says.
- Here’s a link to some more of my editing hints.
- Don’t be a Thesaurus Rex. If it sounds like you’ve swallowed a thesaurus, go back and use words you know and understand. It’s really disconcerting as a reader to feel that bump with a word that just isn’t right. Use words you know. And understand.
- Stop and breathe. You might start feeling overwhelmed; just take 5 minutes and close your eyes and take deep belly breaths. You will be amazed at how much better you feel.
- In your essays, your tone should be casual and conversational. Like you’re talking to an older cousin you respect. It’s ok to use contractions. Eliminate adverbs, especially all verys and reallys.
- After submitting, look through and make sure all the parts went through. Especially check to make sure that your supplements were submitted. You often need to go back and send them after paying and sending the common app.
- For deadlines of Nov 1, you have until midnight on Nov 1 — do not wait until then to submit — see my above notes about zombie apocalypses and websites crashing.
- For many colleges, it’s ok for your supplementary materials like LORs, transcript, and test scores to arrive after the app. Check the colleges’ websites to determine their deadlines. You do not need to wait for them to be in before you hit submit.
- If you haven’t sent your test scores yet to schools that require official scores, do that today.
- Recognize that this learning process is what college admissions is really all about. Reflect on how much you are learning about yourself right now as you are going through this. No matter where you go to college, you will be more in tune with who you are for having gone through this journey of self-exploration. Be proud of it.
- This is the part you can control. Show them the best you on your very best day.
- Once you’ve let those beautiful baby bird early apps go from your nest, let them fly. Be sure to check up on your portals in the next few days and see what you need to finish, but beyond that move on to your other apps.
Ok! That’s a long enough procrastination break — now giddy-up; get back to work! 👏👏👏
You got this!
Remember to breathe,
(Oh! One more thing — try using Chrome if you aren’t using it already and you’re having trouble submitting 🙃. )