Photo by Kevin on Unsplash
By Rebecca Isjwara
New year, new… applications to submit? It’s only the first few weeks of the year but application deadlines tend to fall in the beginning of the year! Eek! UK’s university application portal UCAS is looking at a January 15 deadline, Sweden’s deadline for this year is January 16, Finland's is around January, and Ireland's online applications close on February 1. (For a more comprehensive list of deadlines for European institutions, Study.EU has your back). No matter how close you are to the deadline, though, it’s very important that you still fill out the applications well. But where do you begin? Here are a few places we recommend you to start:
1. Keep calm and carry on
Although your first instinct might be to freak out (which is completely acceptable, by the way), take a mental note that you have 24 hours a day to complete whatever it is you need to get done. Keep a clear schedule by doing a rain check for your upcoming brunch and coffee catch-ups, and take a few deep breaths because you’ve got this!
2. List down what needs to get done
Start with the most time-consuming tasks. Do you need a legalized copy of your high school or university transcript? Do you need a certified translation of one of your certificates? Do you need a reference letter? Get those out of the way first as you literally have no time to lose. After that, start going through your other lists of requirements, such as writing your personal statement and filling out any other application prerequisites.
3. Figure out if you can send in test scores late
It’s not a recommended step, but desperate times call for desperate measures! If an application requires certain test scores you do not have yet, contact the university administrators to see if you can send in the test scores in due course. Some institutions would allow you to do so as long as you submit the intended date of the test-taking in the application. Given that you follow up accordingly, you should be able to bypass this obstacle.
4. Focus on your Personal Statement
All universities emphasize on this for a reason: this is the only way they could pick up your personality from all the factual certifications you provide in your application. Regardless of how early you submit your application, each application would be treated equally and the personal statement still remains as the most crucial element. Take a breather and hone in on your best self, and craft out a personal statement that best represents you. Ask a friend or two to proofread your essays as you continue to revise it up till submission (and perhaps buy them ice cream afterwards because they just did you a last-minute favour).
5. Double-check all information
With the panic that ensues due to rushing around, there’s a higher possibility of forgetting to upload a document or inputting a piece of information wrongly into the application forms. Use the time you have left to go through your application checklist and make sure that you submit the most updated version of your documents and that all information corresponds to your legal documents (legal birth names, most recent passport number, etc).
6. Hit that submit button!
Last but not least, don’t forget to hit submit once you’ve filled everything out! All efforts would be put to waste otherwise, so be sure to send off all your hard work to the university administrators for further processing. Now that you’re done, you can kick back and relax… until you await for the results, but that’s another anxious problem to deal at another anxious time.
Good luck, good folks of ehef.id!