Make sure to edit and submit your college application with care!
If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from a nightmare about something going horribly wrong with your college application, you’re not alone. The good news is, nightmare scenarios are all totally avoidable in real life. Here are some common application nightmares and how to avoid them:
1. Submitting your application with spelling errors
You could have written the most brilliant essay in the world, but if you mix up your/you’re or their/there/they’re or then/than or any number of other common mistakes, it could jeopardize the quality of your work. Take the time you need to carefully comb through your application for little errors like these that, sadly, will take away the focus from your natural brilliance. Have at least one other person (whose discerning literary eye you trust) read over your application to look for errors you may have missed before you submit.
2. Submitting (or working on) the wrong essay draft
You’re probably juggling so many different applications (and school assignments, too) that it’s hard to keep track of what’s what. Drafts will all start to blend into one another. You could work on an essay draft for a while and suddenly realize you’re editing the wrong version — you already did these edits. Make sure you label your documents clearly so you know which one is most up to date. You may even wish to create a folder labeled “current drafts” to be sure you know which one you should be editing.
3. Sending the wrong application to the wrong college
Harvard does not want to read an essay about why you want to go to Duke. Be aware of which application you’re working on and what files you’re attaching. And if you’re using an essay for Harvard that you also used for Duke, make sure you do a thorough search through the document to make sure you haven’t left any “Dukes” in there.
4. Submitting the application before it is finished
This is a heart-attack-inducing scenario. If you find yourself speeding through your online application, stop. Be mindful that you’re clicking the “save and continue” button rather than the “finish and submit” button. Just sloooooow it down there. Maybe limit yourself to one caffeinated beverage rather than three if you’re going to be working on your applications.
5. Computer crashes and you lose all your work
I can’t even spend much time on this one because it’s just too horrifying. Just back up your work constantly. If you have a Mac, use Time Machine. Email yourself current drafts. And put everything on an external hard drive. If you drop your laptop or spill nail-polish remover on the keyboard, you’ll be covered.
This was not meant to stress you out further. It’s important to have these on your radar so that you can anticipate them and make sure they don’t happen to you. All of the above are completely, totally, 100% avoidable, as long as you stay organized and alert during the application process.
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