As the school year winds down and summer season begins, it’s important for rising seniors and parents of college-bound high school students to understand the necessity of writing the college application essay during these sunny months. In this article, we’ll explore why tackling this crucial task early on can lead to a smoother application process and increase your chances of standing out among your competitors.
Beat the Fall Rush: Start Crafting Your College Application Essay Now
Waiting until the last minute is a recipe for stress and mediocre essays. Writing your essay during the summer allows you to beat the business of the fall. Many students wait until the last minute to start their essays, which leads to unnecessary stress and compromises the quality of their work- when the school year sets in, they become consumed by homework, extracurricular activities and outside jobs and are unable to dedicate the time needed to write an excellent essay. You want to be able to focus on your academics when you need to, and your essay should not have to fall by the wayside because of that. By starting early, you have ample time to pick a prompt that resonates with you, brainstorm ideas, conduct research, and craft a compelling essay without feeling that crunch.
Unleash Your Creativity: The Benefits of Summer for Essay Writing
The relaxed summer atmosphere fosters inspiration and allows for self-reflection. The slower paced nature of summer provides an ideal environment for unleashing your creativity! With fewer academic pressures and time constraints, you can let your imagination run free and explore unique perspectives. Dive deep and see where your thoughts take you. Take advantage of this downtime to reflect on your experiences, values, and goals- this will result in a more authentic and engaging essay that captures the attention of admissions officers.
Engage in Meaningful Experiences: Gather Material for Your Essay
Exploring summer activities, internships, and travel can help you create experiences that can enrich your essay and make it stand out. Summer offers a wealth of opportunities to engage in meaningful experiences that can enhance your essay. Whether it’s participating in internships, volunteering, traveling, or pursuing personal projects, these experiences provide valuable material to incorporate into your essay. Stay away from cliches, and avoid rehashing your extracurricular list- admissions officers will see that on your application! By sharing specific anecdotes and lessons learned through these other experiences, you will make your essay more vivid and memorable to admissions officers.
Time for Reflection: Developing a Unique Narrative
Summer break provides an opportunity for introspection and discovering compelling personal stories. During summer break, time is on your side and you have the luxury of intentionally taking time to engage in introspection. Reflect on moments that have shaped you, challenges you’ve overcome, ways that you have grown and lessons you’ve learned. Perhaps incorporate some of the experiences mentioned in the paragraph above if you’ve had the opportunity to do any of them. Your essay is your one opportunity to use your voice, and stand out from who you are “on paper”. Developing a unique narrative that showcases your character and resilience will make your essay memorable and distinct.
Seek Feedback and Edit: The Importance of Revision
Utilize the summer months to share your essay with mentors, teachers, and school counselors for valuable feedback. Communicate with the trusted adults in your circle prior to reaching out to them in the summer- have a conversation with them before the school year ends so that they are aware that you’ll be sending them your essay for review. With fewer academic commitments, they are more likely to have the time and availability to provide thoughtful insights and suggestions for improvement. After you receive this feedback, start polishing your work. Edit, edit, then edit some more! This revision process is crucial for refining your essay and making it the best it can be.
Enjoy a Head Start: Lessen the Burden of the College Application Process
By completing your essay early, you can reduce stress, allowing more time to focus on other application components in the fall. Getting an early start on your college application essay lessens the burden of the overall process. Once your essay is completed, you can shift your focus to other essential components, such as standardized tests, recommendation letters, and extracurricular involvement. This proactive approach reduces stress and allows you to manage your time effectively throughout the application process.
All students applying to college want to give themselves an edge over everyone else in the application pool. By choosing to write your college application essay during the summer months, you’re gaining a significant advantage over those who wait until the fall. The relaxed atmosphere, ample time for reflection, the ability to seek feedback, and the opportunity to engage in meaningful experiences all contribute to the creation of a compelling essay that truly reflects your unique qualities and experiences. So, take advantage of the summer break and get a head start on this crucial part of the college application process.
Please note that this article was previously published on Link for Counselors.