Our household dealt with a multitude of deadlines this winter. I wrote about it in How do you handle deadlines?, outlining our typical strategies, and threw out a query for any helpful ideas. Almost done with junior year, Mod Squad Julie is fast approaching college application-related deadlines.
Fortunately help came, via email, LinkedIn and comments here!
I planned to post a short list of tips, but the narrative responses I received, especially from the independent college counselors and one admissions advisor, are worth quoting in full. So, for your deadline-meeting pleasure, here’s part one with tips.
Our typical strategies for applications
- Print out the application form as soon as it’s available and complete the easy parts.
- Figure out what you need from others — transcript, recommendations, health forms — and get those requests out ASAP.
- Read through the essay questions and start thinking.
- Begin writing draft responses as soon as you can.
- Make a list of the points you want to share (from experiences, extra-curriculars, interests, goals, etc.) and divide them appropriately among the questions.
6. HS Guidance Counselor, Stef:
I have a desk calendar and I write everything work related on it. Then I also add to my Google calendar which syncs to my iPhone and iPad. It sends reminders! I highlight the major things… But in short, a visual big calendar. Weekly check in for important tasks. A set aside time each week for working on apps, scholarships.
7. Parent, Robyn S.:
…Put up a visual reminder indicating the timeline. Teens seem to think that time is limitless. I employ a calendar printout showing due dates, make my teen count back from the due date to see how much time is left, put the calendar in a place where it cannot be missed, and cross off the days as they progress, making the deadline loom ever closer. Has been known to work. And fail. I call it a “failure” when last minute high-stress antics are required in order to get the job done in time. The latter seems to be a prerequisite on the learning curve, sadly.
8. Parent, Kim C.:
I have not found that magic fairy dust yet, other than – umm – “nudging.”
9. HS Guidance Counselor, Ellen:
Nag, nag, nag.
Umm, yes, we’ve been known to use the nag/nudge devices here, too. Besides Post-It reminders on the garage door.
Coming next, part two with advice from the professional counselors’ comments, and part three with specific tools.