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When senior year finally rolls around, you will find that there are a ton of perks to being a big fish in a small pond. You have all the advantages of off-campus lunch privileges, better parking spots, senior prom, senior pranks, and of course, the long-awaited graduation. With all of the hype surrounding your last year, it seems impossible to find time for your college applications. Here are some tips to use your time wisely and make your schedule less overwhelming.

1. Add it to your schedule

Find a 45-minute window that you can commit to at least 3 days each week. Look for gaps in your routine such as during study hall, free periods, or your Netflix time after school. Once you get in the groove of working on your college application every day, you will be submitting those forms in no time!

2. Make yourself an application agenda

Add all your due dates to a calendar to help you keep track of your deadlines visually. First things first, write down all the schools you want to apply to. Organize them by category; for example, put all the schools on the Common App in one group. Second things second, rank all the schools in order from the earliest deadline to the latest. As you begin your applications, tackle the ones with approaching due dates first.

3. Pace yourself

When it comes to college applications, you can’t just sit down and get them all done in one big swoop. It’s going to take time. For that reason, you should pace yourself. Chip away at the applications bit by bit, and soon enough, you will have them all done. (Then you can skip to all the festivities!)

4. Start with the Common App

When looking at a huge stack of applications to complete, it can be mind-boggling. By doing the Common App first, you will knock out multiple schools all at once! It will be super satisfying and give you the mental “I-can-totally-do-this” boost you need during this frenzied time.

5. Find a buddy to hold you accountable

Whether it be a parent or a close friend, let them know the times you set aside to work on your application. Check in with your accountability buddy every week to go over your progress. By telling someone else about your master plan, you will be obligated to stick to your word. (And you will be less tempted to goof off on TikTok).

6. Be resourceful

Most college applications have similar questions, so when you fill out your first form, save your answers in a separate word document. Keeping prepared responses handy will help you save time in later applications if related questions pop up.

Your senior year is a time brimmed with excitement. With bright futures to look forward to, keep calm and stay positive through the college application process. You will make it through!