Organizational Tips for Busy Seniors

Seniors are in the thick of it. Most Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are a heartbeat away. UC and CSU applications need to be in by the end of November. College lists need to be finalized, essays written, recommendations solicited, applications completed, and on and on.

While there's no doubt that college applicants need to get their hustle on, it doesn't mean that they have to resign themselves to a season of stress. Help your child cope with all the moving parts by offering a few organizational tips:

  • College Spreadsheet - Create a spreadsheet, neatly detailing relevant info on each school being considered. In addition to particulars like location, size, and programs of interest, include columns for all relevant dates and deadlines. Having all the important data on one screen/sheet, will make searching and comparing a lot less overwhelming.

  • Essay List - Have your student make a complete list of all the potential essays (with prompts) she will need to write. The University of California requires two. For Common App schools, there's one main essay, but each school typically has supplementals, as well. And don't forget the essays hiding in some colleges' online applications. The list should be exhaustive and include word count limits and deadlines. You'll be amazed at how much easier a list makes it to prioritize the essay writing process and determine crossover between the various prompts.

  • Work Appointments - Have you ever noticed how most people automatically elevate the importance of appointments? Your student will benefit from making appointments with herself to get her work done. Blocking out specific days and times to do specific tasks will make it much easier for her to pace herself through her school and college work. Strongly suggest that she include these appointments on her calendar or in her day planner. Working by appointment will not only help ensure that she keeps to a schedule, but will make her more efficient, as well.

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