College Essay Writing For Summer: Preparing Ahead of Time

No, no, no, no, no.

You have a summer. Don't spend it like this guy.

One of the great advantages CEO provides to its users is the ability to get a head start on what can be a pretty humungous amount of work. Access to our database comes along with a weekly emailer, letting you know which schools' requirements have been updated for the coming year, and giving you a chance to get out in front of that pile while you still have the time to do it.

The rude, nay, completely unacceptable reality of senior year is that your superiors insist on continuing to give you homework despite your being a full 75% complete with your high school education. What I'm saying is that seniors have work. Papers. Math. Things to do.

Piling the applications and essays has loads of upsides for you, but the amount of work and the creeping deadlines are not part of those upsides.

So here it is, July already, and after that, there's, you know, August. Months when you may find yourself with a wee bit of free time. Working with CEO can help you turn September and October's piles into very manageable slates of work. Get started ahead of time and knock those essays out beforehand, so your revisions in the fall feel more like tweaks and fine-tuning. The kind of work that turns high school writing into actual, honestly good writing.

New York Times' Maureen Tillman Blogs: Beware The Freshman Pitfalls

Maureen Tillman

Guest blogger Maureen Tillman's got some tips to keep you from being taken to task.

Our post today comes from Maureen Tillman, L.C.S.W. She is the organizer and curator of The New York Times' Local College Corner, and is also the creator of College with Confidence, a comprehensive psychotherapy service that supports parents and young adults through the college experience. She has offices in Maplewood Village and Morristown, New Jersey and also provides educational seminars, training, phone and skype consultations.

For high school seniors making the transition to college, this is the time to get real. It is crucial for these new graduates to be aware of the common stumbling blocks that many college freshmen encounter, and learn what they can do to help themselves have a successful transition from high school to college.

For many, this is the first time they will be leaving the nest, and it is now time to deal with the issues that will arrive when they are living on their own.

In my work I have talked with many college students on this first-year transition. Common pitfalls emerged from our discussions, some of which can have serious consequences. For example:

* Many students with learning and medical disabilities, ADD or ADHD have had support while growing up (including the monitoring of medication) from parents, tutors, schools and counselors — all significant factors in their academic success. But many students who decide to try college without this support find that this decision leads to a ticket home.

* Drinking and partying when homesick or down can spiral into deeper depression and academic failure.

* Freshmen tend to frequently text, call and use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Too much of this can take away from meeting new people and feeling connected.

It is helpful if students look ahead and learn all they can about the college terrain before they leave.

Here are three suggestions to help students in their transition:

1. Talk to a variety of college students who have recently finished their freshman year. Ask them about their challenges and how they navigated them. What myths were shattered? And what do they wish they had known previously which would have allowed for them to have been more prepared?

2. Be realistic. You can do this by taking responsibility for yourself before you leave and take on tasks that your parents may have assisted in, like becoming literate in finances, making your own daily decisions and managing stress. Use the summer months to practice self-advocacy and assertiveness in challenging situations that may come your way.

3. Read the student handbook, “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College,” by Harlan Cohen.

Freshman year at college offers a window of opportunity for students to reach out, join activities and make new friends. Yet many high school students cling to myths that could affect their ability to fully enjoy this time of their lives. When you hold those conversations with rising college sophomores you may know, don’t be afraid to raise some of your assumptions about college life; you might be surprised by their response.

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Debbie Gibson and Tiffany Duel in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. FINALLY.

If you don't know who these people are, just know them as the stars of Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. And don't write your college essay about the Mega Python or the Gatoroid.

All right, it's Friday, and this post isn't going to be so much for the students applying to college this year as it is for the counselors and parents who love them.

CEO would like to send out a hearty congratulations to the wizards at the inexplicably titled SyFy channel for rolling up their sleeves, putting the noses to the grindstone, and getting some very important work done. These people have brought Debbie Gibson and Tiffany together. In one film. At last. And that film is titled Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.

That's right, for those of you who couldn't get enough of her epic turn in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, the 80s pop star Debbie (that's Deborah to you) Gibson returns in what ought to be called a conceptual sequel to that made-for-the-small-screen masterpiece if someone's not out there calling it that already.

But the people at SyFy didn't stop there. No. They brought on the lead vocalist of the 'I Think We're Alone Now' cover that everyone who was eight at the time thought was the original. That's Tiffany. Nope, don't know what her last name is and we didn't stop to look it up. Too excited.

What will come of MPVSG as the kids are calling it only the future knows. My guess is that it will involve a snake and a gator of some sort doing battle. But it will also feature 80s rivals Debbie Gibson and Tiffany doing battle and that's what we've waited over twenty years to see here. With the special effects in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus rivaling those of an awkward Super Nintendo cut scene we can only hold out hope for the best of all the gatoroid has to offer. Whatever a gatoroid is.

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Hey Seniors! Big Discounts For YOU!

Note: Applications may not actually form comical mountain.

Hey seniors!

Yes, I'm looking at you. You, who just finished the hardest academic years of your lives and think next year's going to be the cakewalk you've always deserved. Well, yes and no. You may slide into senioritis, but not before climbing an avalanche of applications.

Never fear, CEO discounts are here for seniors looking to purchase their accounts ahead of time. We've gone ahead and pushed our discount for rising seniors up to 15% for purchases made before August 1. Just use the promo code senior7 when purchasing a new student account.

I know the applications seem a ways off, but take it from the people who've been there - it's when you need it the most that you often feel like you don't have the time. Ever feel like you don't have enough time to find the shortcut, even though you know it's shorter? Yeah - so take care of business now, while things are still laid back. Let us do the organizing for you and you'll be in a lot better shape when you find out that your teachers actually assign homework during your senior year. Of all the nerve.

CEO membership comes with a whole lot of other benefits, including being notified of when the schools have updated their requirements, so check out the benefits, sign up and let your worries whisk themselves away.

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Ways of Diversifying Your Applications

Gotta diversify... And mix it up... Like a... British Jamaican DJ.

As we've written about before, the cost of diversifying your set of schools is minimal when compared to the potential reward you have in store for an acceptance at a school above your safe range.

Being accepted at a school on the high end of where you're aiming is a big deal in terms of the academic experience you'll have, the success your peers will have after graduation, and the professional expectations you'll have, both in salary and breadth of opportunity.

So how do you expand that list of schools without wasting your time?

Focus on the core priorities you have for your university experience. Selectivity, reputation and ranking, class size, location, setting, etc. Once you've made those decisions, find ways to broaden your selections, and the odds of landing a position will increase.

If you're going to be applying to, say, Cornell, Drexel, Boston College, and UConn, stretch out the list of top schools to three or four, and your chances of winding up at a school like Cornell, even if it's not exactly Cornell - say, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, or Yale - are going to increase.

Remember, there are many reasons you can be denied admission to a school, many of which are outside of your control, such as your demographic, geographic location, or high school's history with the university. Broaden your selection and you'll improve the chances.

CEO is here to compliment the other tools at your disposal and make the many applications, and the legwork that goes along with it, that much easier.

College Essay Organizer: Updating University Applications for 2011

Workin' like a DOG up at CEO. Oh wait.

Somehow, some way, we keep coming up with new stuff to put on CEO every single day.

The 2011 application season is already upon us, and a number of schools have already begun posting their applications for the 2010-2011 application season. And we here at CEO are hard at work to make sure we have our information up to date, right up to the minute.

At least 25 new schools are joining the Common App this year, and in doing so, most will be altering their expectations of applicants considerably. So if you've spent the last year looking at one of these schools, make sure to work with CEO to find out how having these schools throw you for a loop might actually work in your favor. As things change out there, CEO will update and automatically show you how work you're doing for other schools can be repurposed for the new ones.

Enjoy, it's going to be a good year.

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