Yes, most college applicants do understand the importance of timing.
However, usually not until it’s way too late.
If I had a nickel for every time a student contacted me in a panic with an eleventh-hour discovery that eluded them up until now, well, I’d have enough nickels to buy a penthouse on Central Park West!
At the end of every season, when the final application is submitted, I always like to survey my student-clients and ask them: “If you could mentor your younger self or a younger classmate and offer a valuable tip about this grueling, life-changing college application process, what advice might you offer that you wish you had known before your senior year started?”
Almost always, their advice falls under one of two categories:
Get in a time machine to go back to freshman year to build a more purposeful high school profile.
Finish ALL college research before the end of junior year because there’s really never enough time during senior fall to accomplish it all properly. (And follow the research tips that I gave them, so they don’t have to go back and re-research at the 11th hour.)
OK, so none of my STEM students have designed a DeLorean time machine (because that would certainly guarantee acceptance to their dream school)! [Note: students, if you didn’t understand the DeLorean time machine reference, please go watch the classic “Back To The Future” on Netflix!!!]
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from all those who came before you in this process. Learn from their mistakes. Please!
Today’s blog post will focus solely on their timing mistakes. [But guaranteed, in future blog posts, I’ll cover other college search & application mistakes for you to avoid!]