For many a college-aspirer, the application process can seem like an impassable mountain of paperwork. In the face of juggling both college essays and schoolwork the urge to hide under the covers can be real. Sorry, but that digital stack of to-dos isn’t going anywhere. Fear not, though, applicants, there is an end in sight and just on the other side of it is a beautiful college welcome week waiting to greet you.
So how are you going to juggle it all?
Breathe. You Have the Time.
The good news is, there are 24 hours in a day and you probably spend at least one of those hours editing your Instagram photos when you could be applying to college. In fact, you already juggled more in your junior year with AP classes, SATs, college visits, and extracurriculars. You are capable and now, you just need to make like Nike and do it. So here’s our first pro tip for getting started:
TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE.
I know, you don’t want to hear it, but seriously, block out an hour, sit down at your desk, breathe, turn off that phone, and get to work. Once you have turned in your first application, you will have tackled the biggest hurdle.
Prioritize...and for Once, We Don’t Mean Homework
Ok, so you completed one application, but what about the other 10 applications and supplements you have to do on top of studying for that Calculus test? We say prioritize the applications.
Wait. What? Did we just say there is something more important than school work?
Yup. We know it goes against everything your parents and teachers have drilled into you for your entire life. Obviously, schoolwork is really important, but so is getting into college and that is what we intend to help you do. Some people think, “but then I’m going to fail school!” It’s a good thing you have spent the last three years mastering the art of not failing school.
You want to go to college, so ensure your admission into your dream school by getting an “A” in the college application. If that means you have to turn in a less-than-perfect Biology assignment for once, so be it. If you absolutely must, talk to your teachers and negotiate a later deadline. Your teachers who know you will probably be a little more understanding than the college board will be.
Let’s Talk about What’s Really Going On
So why the hold up?
Through years of working with students and having been students ourselves, we have discovered that the college application process can bring on a more existential concern than just time-management. Some people are moved to look at old photographs, steal their Mickey Mouse toy back from their dog, or build a fort in the wee hours of the night like old times. In other words, in the face of really becoming an adult, we often romanticize our childhood and dread the idea that filling out that application means we are leaving childhood behind once and for all. The truth is, you are and that is what it means to grow up.
We at TKG have all been there. We all graduated college and many of us graduated grad school, as well. We get it. But we also know that you probably cried on your first day of Kindergarten and, a few hours later, met your best friend on the swing set and never looked back. Consider the possibility that on the other side of that mountain of paperwork, there is another swing set awaiting you.
So back to time-management. At the top of the piece we established the fact that you can handle this. You are a senior in high school, which means you are practically, if not legally, an adult by now. Familiarize yourself with the deadlines. Break up the applications, get a calendar, schedule time in that calendar, and just do it.
Need help with more specific time-management issues? Contact us here to discuss the right plan for your needs.