Preparing for College By Colleges Editor Summer is in full swing and hopefully you’re soaking up some sun, cooling off in some form of water, and maybe even making a little bit of pocket change. College admissions may seem like a distant worry, but it’ll be here before you know it. Once you head back to school in September, balancing the application process with your regular school work – keeping up with deadlines and staying organized – will be a challenge. Here are three easy ways to get a head start during your summer vacation. We promise it will make your life much easier during the fall. The Essay – Oh, the dreaded college essay. The most difficult part about writing the essay is getting started. This summer, brainstorm topic ideas and decide which topic best represents a unique aspect of your personality. Once you’ve figured that out, write your first draft and sit on it until the fall. You’ll be one step ahead of all your classmates scrambling to write their essays before the deadline, and with the extra time you can make sure that your 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 – Contact the teachers you would like to write a recommendation for you over the summer. Since school is out, a simple email is appropriate. They’ll appreciate the gesture and, because you’re requesting the letter early, chances are that the teacher will have more time to write you 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 your deadlines and those acceptance letters will be in your mailbox in no time!