November 1st always marks a big milestone in the college application process: the Early Decision/Early Action deadline.
As this date passes, a collective sigh can be heard from college applicants across the country (soon followed by the anticipation and anxiety of awaiting that fated response from a student’s dream college).
Though the ED/EA deadline may mark the completion of a big step, it is by no means the end. With the early applications squared away, it is now time to shift focus to the applications for regular decision!
My biggest takeaway from having helped multiple students through this process is to not let the January dates fool you; they may seem far, but in the midst of finals and the holidays they will show up sooner than you expect. For this reason, the best piece of advice is to not take a break once you are done with early applications. Instead, funnel the motivation mustered leading up to November 1st right into completing the rest of your regular decision essays.
By not losing steam, students can prevent a shift out of “writing mode” as we call it, and can finish off their applications before December, allowing them to focus completely on their finals. This also prevents having their holidays cut short by having to scramble to put together supplements towards the end of the year. (This particular statement tends to do the trick if a student is hesitant to jump right back into writing.)
Lastly, the best part about this portion of the process is that an applicant will already have oodles of writing at their disposal, none of which is shared between colleges. Furthermore, once you have a college list of 7 or more, they tend to ask very similar questions.
Recycle and reuse! If you notice a portion of an essay matches a prompt perfectly, use that statement. Often an applicant can re-use an entire essay, switching out the beginning and ending to properly frame the answer within the prompt.
Do not be lulled into contentment by having pressed submit on those November 1st (and October 15th) schools. Keep on pushing and polish off those last few supplements so you can enjoy your winter break with no interruptions!