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5 Things Seniors Should Do in July and August (with Due Dates!)

Tomorrow is July 4th. I always wonder if that means summer officially starts or ends for me. Sigh. This is my busy season. All of the rising high school seniors are trying to get as much done over the summer as they can. I have jam-packed days of editing essays, helping students fill out applications, and brainstorming ideas for supplemental essays.

If you are like my students, you're wondering how to make the most of summer vacation. Here is a plan with personal deadlines you can set for yourself.

1. Write your main essay now!

The first half of July is the most productive time to write the main essay that some or all of your colleges will get. Junior year is behind you, and you have had time to reflect on who you are and how you want to present yourself to admissions officers.

Due date? July 15th!

Need help coming up with a powerful essay topic?

Download Sara's Ultimate Guide to Picking the Perfect College Essay Topic for free!

2. Open an account...

with The Common Application, Coalition Application, or any other applications you plan to use.

Due date? Today!

3. Start filling out the application, section-by-section.

When you hit writer's block or just need a break from writing, begin to fill out your applications. It can be a good distraction from essays, yet you are still getting things done.

Due date? August 31st.

4. Look to see if any of the colleges on your list have posted their updated supplemental prompts.

If you are planning to apply to selective colleges, you will most likely be writing additional essays found on each college's supplement or their own application. Some colleges have already announced their 2019-2020 supplemental essay prompts—thank you to the University of Chicago for releasing their prompts early so students can get started writing!

If the new prompts are not listed on the college's websites, keep checking every week. At the latest, colleges will have them ready for August 1st on The Common Application or Coalition Application.

Due date? August 1st.

5. Write your supplemental essays.

These essays take longer than you think—that is why I suggest looking to see if the college has released their prompts early. If not, you want to devote the entire month of August to writing these supplemental essays.

Due date? August 31st.

READ MORE: How to Answer the Most Common Essay Prompts for College Supplements

Here's the thing about summer. It's easy to get side-tracked or behind with vacations, friends, and the beach calling. But if you put yourself on a schedule, you will be more accountable. Truth be told, I struggle to meet deadlines when I get this busy. Heck, I'm writing this blog while getting hair and makeup done for a photo shoot in less than two hours! The blog was due to my team last night. Things happen. Yet, I can officially say right now, "This week's blog is done." Now onto that photo shoot!