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Video: How to Make the Fall Semester of Senior Year Easier

Senior year of high school will be memorable and busy! Get ahead of it this summer with student vlogger Lucia's steps for a stress-free fall semester.

The summer before senior year is super important when it comes to applying to college because it can make the fall semester and jumping into classes a lot less stressful than it has to be! Lucia has advice on how to stay on top of your college apps, including completing the Common Application, drafting your essays, and creating a to-do list of all your application requirements in the months before. Check out the video below!

Complete your Common Application essay (0:34)

Even if you don’t fully complete your Common Application essay before fall rolls around, having an outline or a draft written will help you stay ahead of your college app schedule. This will also give you plenty of time to edit and revise to get it just right. It might also be helpful to write multiple versions of the essay, adapting for certain colleges or programs. One version might not work for every college you're applying to.

Create a list of colleges you want to apply to (1:18)

Creating an initial list of colleges you want to apply to and starting some research schools is a smart way to get ahead over the summer. Note: This list will most likely change! Don't feel like you have to commit to the whole list; in fact, you'll eventually narrow it down to a reasonable amount of schools to apply to. All this research will give you a better idea of your motivation for pursuing a higher education, which is crucial information to put in your application essay, and having an early idea of colleges you want to apply to will be especially helpful for letters of recommendation. Individuals will be more likely to write you a recommendation if they know the type of schools you want to send the letters to and the deadline for completing the recommendation.

Related: How to Build the Perfect College List in High School

Make a college application to-do list (2:40)

There are supplemental essays, extra recommendations, or interviews required for individual schools. There are standardized test scores to send, extracurricular lists to compile, and more. It will be helpful to write everything down so there are no surprises. Having a list will make it easier for you to keep organized and check materials off as you compile them together. College applications are no easy feat!

Prioritize the items on your college application to-do list (3:18)

Make sure to put the big-ticket items on the top of your to-do list, such as extensive essays or an art portfolio. Ask yourself what is going to take the most time, and make sure those tasks are complete before your senior year workload becomes too overwhelming. Once you start getting further down the list, your college application timeline will not only be closer to being done, but it will also become easier to complete.

Related: How to Build the Perfect College Application

Senior year is something most high school students look forward to since freshman year, but they often underestimate how stressful it can be. Do yourself a favor by starting your college admission process in the summer. You don't have to do everything (or even a lot), but getting the ball rolling will make it that much easier to carry on with the process in the fall and enjoy your last year of high school at the same time. 

Start searching for colleges on CollegeXpress, and watch more videos from our student vloggers on the CollegeXpress YouTube Channel.

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