Procrastinating seniors’ complaints not warranted

February 13, 2009 — by Lyka Sethi

As the first semester comes to a close, many seniors find themselves in a sticky situation: College application due dates approach and the dread of finals fills their minds with misery, while the light at the end of the tunnel—second semester—serves as an enormous hindrance to productivity. And as college application websites crash as a result of last-minute crunches, complaints echo across the country. These types of difficulties, however, are easily remedied with better planning.

Most supplements are made available over the summer. The latest any private college will post its application is early September. The UC application is no exception. Though released on Nov. 1 and due on Nov. 30, it provides essay topics in July. Thus, with nearly three months for writing, editing and submitting, no applicants should have to submit their application the night before it’s due.

Senior Tiffany Wang was one of many students overloaded with work during first semester, but despite finding it difficult to balance everything, she managed to make time to work on her college applications.

“Throughout first semester I was really worried that because of my workload, I wouldn’t be able to get my applications done,” said Wang. “But since I was aware of how much time I had, I tried to start working early and get things finished on time.”

However, not all students are so dedicated. Every student thinks that it’ll never happen to him or her, but there’s always a chance that an application won’t make it on the deadline due to a website problem. The only way to avoid this is to avoid procrastination. It’s understandable that there is a lot to deal with during first semester, but just spending a little more time each day working on applications makes a huge difference. Seniors who distributed application work over large periods of time have found it effective.

“There’s always so much going on with school and extra-curriculars,” said Wang. “But I made sure I spent a little bit of time each day working on applications, so I got everything turned in on time.”

All current juniors should also heed this advice before it’s too late; when 2010 rolls around and the Common Application website is stalled on the date their applications are due, they’ll regret not spending more time on them earlier.

Procrastination not only increases the chance of an application not being submitted but also mars the quality of the applicant’s work. Even if procrastinating students manage to turn in their applications on time, the quality of work will be noticeably lower than that of a student who took more time to prepare their essays and other supplemental requirements on the application.

Making sure there’s enough time to go over college essays and supplements is vital to the application process. This lessens stress during the submission process and provides applicants with the confidence that they’ve done their best.