“It’s only July!”
“I’m finally relaxing.”
“I have plenty of time before my college applications are due.”
These are some common reasons students put off writing their college application essays, but summer is the best time to get started.
According to Michele Turk of A Bloc of Writers, here are five reasons to get started:
- Time is on your side. Summer is the optimal time to start working on college applications, but many students put it off until the fall when they have to squeeze it into their busy schedules. Instead of waiting until the last minute, students should make a schedule and strategy for completing the essays long before the November or January deadlines.
- Many students will need to write more than 10 essays.
Even though the Common App has streamlined and simplified the college application process, the personal statement is just one of several essays students may need to write. In addition to the Common App essay, many colleges require students to write supplemental essays–and these are equally important.
- Parents learn exactly how much work is involved in the college application process.Parents may assume that writing college essays won’t be too challenging if their child has done well in school. But there is a huge difference between writing a high school English paper and writing a college application essay. Most students we work with have never written this type of narrative essay, and even top students struggle with the task. Many parents don’t realize this until late in the application process–when everyone is under a tremendous amount of stress.
- Your college list is a work in progress.If your junior year was crammed with homework, testing or extracurricular activities, you may not have had a chance to visit many colleges, ask teachers for letters of recommendation or get to know your guidance counselor. As a result, many students need help figuring out which colleges to apply to, whether to apply Early Action (EA) or Early Decision (ED), and how to handle key application questions. To that end, A Bloc of Writers has a college admissions consultant (Anjali Nadig) who is an invaluable resource.
- Last minute essays are usually lousy. There’s no question that a hastily written, mediocre, or lackluster essay can jeopardize your chances of gaining admittance to a college. It’s much easier to start with a college essay tutor early on who can help students brainstorm and hone ideas, focus their essays and avoid making crucial mistakes. There’s a misconception that we write essays for students when in fact, so much of what we do involves helping them figure out what their story is, and then how to frame and shape that story into a strong college essay.