By Colleges Editor Summer is in full swing and hopefully your family is soaking up some sun, cooling off in some form of water, and maybe even taking a family road trip. College admissions may seem like a distant worry, but it’ll be here before you know it. Once your child heads back to school in September, balancing the application process with his or her regular school work – keeping up with deadlines and staying organized – will be a challenge. Here are three easy ways that your child can get a head start during his/her summer vacation. We promise it will make both of your lives much easier during the fall. Here’s guide on summer before college preparation for you! The Essay – Oh, the dreaded college essay. The most difficult part about writing the essay is getting started. This summer, encourage and help your child brainstorm topic ideas and decide which topic best represents a unique aspect of his/her personality. Once you’ve figured that out, he/she should write the first draft and sit on it until the fall. Your child will be one step ahead of all his/her classmates scrambling to write their essays before the deadline, and with the extra time he/she can make sure that the essay is captivating, polished, and grammatically perfect. Also, be sure to check out Unigo’s College Admissions Essay Guide for help and advice on the entire process. Letters of Recommendation – Encourage your child to contact the teachers he/she would like to write a recommendation for him/her over the summer. Since school is out, a simple email is appropriate. They’ll appreciate the gesture and, because your child is requesting the letter early, chances are that the teacher will have more time to write the best recommendation possible. As always, beat the rush for better results. Plan Ahead – This one’s easy! At some point during July, start making a calendar for the admissions process. Make note of all application deadlines, personal deadlines (ex: Finish essay by xx/xx). Stay organized and stay on top of all the deadlines and those acceptance letters will be in your mailbox in no time!