I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

It's That Time of Summer

Friday, July 18, 2014

You know, that time when ALL THE SECONDARY INVITES come rushing in. I'm very grateful to be receiving them but I'm also really distracted by the sunny afternoons and blue skies that are beckoning me to come sit outside or go for a bike ride or spend the day at the beach.
Because I didn't want to spend all of my time stuck on my laptop writing endless application essays, I decided to switch up the way I handle my secondaries this year. Instead of giving myself a few days to complete an app I cut my turn-around time down to 24 hours. This means that, at the most, my goal is to submit a secondary application within 24 hours of getting that email asking me to complete one.
Managing my time has definitely helped but the biggest time saver has been a result of re-using essays. I'm not sure what the internet has to say about that subject but I'm a big fan. At the end of the day, there are really only so many ways I can talk about the same subjects. Writing five different and unique essays on my happiest memory is exhausting so instead of having individual essays for each school, I started off the application season by creating several pieces that can be adapted to most of the common questions that are asked.
Several of the repeated themes I've been asked to expand upon include: how I would contribute to the diversity of [University X's] student body, what is my biggest failure and how did I deal with it, and what achievement has made me the most proud. Having essays at-hand that I can edit to fit the question is so much better than starting from scratch every time. Of course, there are some applications where I can't do this (coughLoyolacough) but for the most part it's been incredibly helpful to have a head start on the topics.
If you're trying to dig yourself out of a pile of apps don't be discouraged, it isn't too late to use the same method described above. I would suggest taking a day or two to write a few essays (I like to keep them down to a paragraph or two) that fit the usual prompts. Try to keep them short and succinct but make sure they have depth and a powerful message - you don't want to bore your reader but you also don't want to write a few lines about nothing. Then, when you get a secondary prompt that is similar to an essay you have saved, try to adapt it to fit word count/specific requirements of the question etc. Oh and if you're getting frustrated just listen to the song at the top of this post because it's wonderful and it gives me such a happy summery feeling, it'll put you in a better mood immediately.


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