Your last two years of high school will throw a lot your way. Even if you're an expert juggler, you may find it difficult to manage homework, extracurriculars and college applications all at once. (And that's not even considering your social life!) One of the best ways to achieve success and maintain your sanity during this time is to create a calendar that keeps track of everything you've got going on. Here are three reasons to set up that schedule.
1. Alleviate Scheduling Conflicts
Between due dates for college applications, important test times and project deadlines, you'll want to have a solid roadmap of everything you have coming up over the next few months. The best way to do this is to list it all on a single piece of paper so you can account for everything. Once you've done this, you can then determine what can be done ahead of time and what's better left for later. This can help to alleviate any potential scheduling conflicts.
For example, say you have a major chemistry test the same day an application is due to one of your target schools. You don't want to study for the test too far in advance because then the material won't be as fresh in your mind. However, you can finish the college app whenever you want — no one is going to fault you for submitting an application early!
2. Ensure Time Isn't Wasted
How often have you given yourself ten minutes on your phone … only to suddenly realize that an hour has passed? When left to our own devices (no pun intended), we're prone to wasting time. However, with a firm schedule in place, we are much more likely to take advantage of the time available in a given day.
This especially allows us to get back the small chunks of time often lost between larger tasks such as sports practices or appointments. Instead of just idling out, keep a list of smaller tasks you can fit in to moments like these, whether that's outlining an essay or reviewing some vocabulary. These crucial tasks that can be slotted in almost anywhere can help you make every minute count.
3. Prepare for the Unexpected
Ever hear the phrase "Expect the unexpected?" Well, it's incredibly applicable during the college admissions process, where every deadline could mean the difference between being accepted or rejected by your dream school.
One trick I recommend is taking the actual date something is due and moving it one day earlier on your calendar. This gives you a buffer — even if something pops up out of the blue, you should still have that last day to finish the project/application/essay. And if you don't end up needing it, that gives you an extra day to get a head start on whatever's next on your to-do list.
For more tips covering everything from SAT and ACT prep to applying Early Decision vs. Early Action, head over to our YouTube channel. Our videos will help keep you on track, whatever your college goals.
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