To all College-Bound Seniors:
With college deadlines just around the corner, it is time to kick it into high gear! Don’t tire out on turkey. Use the Thanksgiving holiday to finish up your college applications. Even if you haven’t started your applications, there is still time. I have made an easy to follow schedule that’ll help you navigate the college admissions puzzle and it even sets aside time to enjoy family and watch football.
So, what exactly should you be doing over Thanksgiving to perfect your applications? Although it may be tempting to jump right into those essays to cross this big item off of your to do list, take a step back. The most important part of your college application is your admissions strategy. So, begin by working on your Unique Value Proposition. What do you want colleges to know about you? Think about what you have to offer your dream college and what differentiates you from other candidates. Don’t be vague and don’t be boring! Do you have a passion for marine biology? Are you passionate about a favorite charity or are you a competitive flutist? Do you want to study international relations and work for the UN? Focus on your unique talents and interests.
If you have yet to start your essay, don’t panic. Think about what every other part of your application says about you first. Your transcript and test scores will tell schools what type of a student you are and what your academic interests might be. Do you challenge yourself with more advanced classes and, if so, how do you perform in them? Next, your activity list and resume will show colleges how you spend your time outside of class and how you might contribute to your college community. Will you star in the school play or lead the school newspaper? If your colleges require recommendations, those should validate what’s been said thus far and add more color about your character and personal qualities. Hopefully, you have already requested them but, if not, be sure to help your recommenders get them in on time by giving them an information packet which includes your resume, GPA, and a summary of how you distinguished yourself in that class or community.
Only now should you get to your essays. What’s missing from the picture you want to present? Focus on what sets you apart. For example, think about an experience that has challenged you and discuss what you learned from that experience. In my experience, a solid college essay takes five drafts before it is ready to submit, regardless of how strong a writer you are. So, brainstorm your essay topic and work on a draft daily. By the end of the weekend, you should be prepared to submit a great college applications.
When I was writing The Complete Candidate, I included specific examples, details, and guidelines and downloadable templates so that students have all the resources to submit effective college applications with minimum stress. It’s a step-by-step college application program that I wished I had as a college-bound senior and I know that this straight forward Thanksgiving Timeline will soothe your fears. For a limited time, you can purchase The Complete Candidate for $150 off the original value. But just like your college application has a deadline, the offer does too. The promotion will end on Cyber Monday, while quantities last.
Yes, the deadline is almost here…but don’t give up just yet. If you dedicate the time to your application this coming week, you will be stress free by Winter Break. So, stop stressing and follow my work plan one exercise at a time.
For a detailed timeline on how you can finish your college applications over Thanksgiving, click the link below: