After that initial rush to submit EA/ED applications, it can be tempting to hit the snooze button for a while and catch a much-needed break before beginning the process anew with the regular round. At the same time, you will likely find yourself busier than ever with school as the semester winds down and exams loom nearer and nearer. Combined with the fact that the holidays remain tantalizingly within reach, it can be hard, to say the least, to stay focused and motivated until January 1st. Luckily, we’ve been there and have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you conquer the regular round!

  1. Set a timer. We’ve all been in this position before–you’re staring at a blank computer screen, trying to muster up the courage to begin. Setting a timer can spur you to action. Tell yourself that you need to write continuously until the timer goes off, whether it be for 10, 20, or 30 minutes. You can use this as a starting point, and hopefully once you get going, you’ll find yourself in the groove. Then take a break and try for another five minutes later. (Try “reverse Pomodoros” — work for five minutes, rest for twenty-five.)
  2. Create benchmarks. Give yourself a reward when you meet a benchmark — for example, eat one M&M for every sentence you write or take a 10-minute break after every page. If you’ve had your eye on an even larger reward, such as a new phone, promise yourself that you can get it once you’ve finished X number of supplements or applications. The upcoming holiday festivities can help with this, too—you might want to plan to be finished with the bulk of your essays before, say, a family Christmas party.
  3. Turn off your internet access. Guess what? Your computer doesn’t need to be connected to the internet to write college essays. Avoid going down a ‘research’ rabbit hole by disconnecting from Wifi, putting your phone in another room, and just typing.
  4. Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can bear any how.’ Remember why you’re doing this, and you can stay motivated! College graduates make more money and can have better lives. Plus, the phenomenal education you’re about to receive is a reward in and of itself. Great things await you, so you just need to put your head down and make them happen.

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