College applications can be incredibly intimidating – to the point that the thought of starting them is paralyzing! Many students find that getting started on their college applications is something that becomes easier and easier to put off doing. College applications are obviously important, but because they carry the weight of what feels like a student’s entire future, procrastinating becomes the more appealing choice.

To combat the paralyzing fear of college applications, I encourage my students to start simple and start small. Taking tiny steps here and there will make things much easier once application season really kicks in. Fall semester of senior year is typically an extremely busy time, and the more that students can get done ahead of time, the better! I promise you’ll save yourself from so much stress if you just start!

Start by creating a Common App account. Just create the account, don’t worry about filling it out. The next day, start putting in some of the basic identifying information. The next day, put in your family information. Before you know it, your Common App will be complete and it will have been a relatively painless process! Follow these same steps for any UC schools or individual schools that aren’t on the Common App. Take one tiny step by creating the account and see how far you get once you’ve started. The best way to get things done is to begin!