How to Find Time for College Apps During a Busy School Year

The application deadlines are fast approaching, which means you need to finish up your essay, put the final touches on your supplements, give everything a thorough proofread, and make sure you’ve fulfilled the specific requirements for each school on your list. Oh, and you also have sports practice after school everyday this week, a math exam to study for, an essay due in English class – and don’t forget your sister’s birthday dinner! Sound familiar? During senior year, it can feel overwhelming – and some days, downright impossible – to cram everything in each day. If you’re struggling with finding time to finish your college apps on top of everything else, here are some things to keep in mind.

Use a calendar (digital or paper!) and map out every commitment, assignment, and deadline.

Not everyone is a meticulous planner, list-maker, or scheduler, but for this phase of life… force yourself to be. Create a schedule or list that lays out every upcoming exam date, application deadline, big assignment, important obligation, and so on. By laying it out visually, you can make sure you’re: a) not missing anything; b) always looking ahead; and c) prioritizing things in order of urgency. We all tell ourselves that we’ll remember everything, and we all end up eating our words. During such a busy and overwhelming time, calendars and planners are your friends.

Schedule out your time carefully.

Once you’ve got your “master list” of important dates created, you can start getting strategic with your time. For example, you can quickly look at your calendar and notice that you’ve got a mostly blank week, followed by a week with two college application deadlines, a huge bio exam, and a research paper due. How do you think you should use that blank week to ensure that you aren’t cramming for your exam, your paper, and sending in mediocre applications the following week…? By constantly looking ahead, we ensure that we use each day wisely.

Set personal deadlines.

Your application for your top choice school might be due in three weeks, but it’s probablynot a wise choice to finish it the night of. Rather than waiting until the final couple days or hours, set personal deadlines that provide some extra wiggle room. Give yourself a couple of days to edit your essay with fresh eyes (or have a trusted editor do it!). Build in an extra couple of days to confirm letters of recommendation are finished. Give yourself the peace of mind to check and double check that you’ve got all the required materials before it’s go-time.


Like we’ve already touched on, senior year is the ultimate practice in prioritizing. That might mean learning to tackle your tasks in order of urgency, or missing out on certain (read: more fun) things in order to focus on your bigger goals. This is a crucial skill, not just for senior year but far, far beyond.

Enlist help.

This is a daunting, chaotic, nerve-racking time for most seniors, but you don’t have to do it alone. You’ve never done the college application process before, so lean on people who could do it in their sleep! The Enrichery offers 1-1 College Admissions Packages, where our expert coaches will help you finalize your college list, create your resume, and write your essay and all required supplements – just to name a few. Plus, we’ll work together to ensure your apps are not only finished by the deadline, but perfected.