It’s that time again — application season is officially here! This time of the year brings a mix of emotions for students. Some are so excited to finally begin the college process that they have their applications ready to send off as soon as possible. Others are more reserved, wondering if their application is “truly ready” to submit. The good news is that both feelings are normal, as well as every emotion in between. We get a lot of questions every year about how to stand out – and the best answer is in your essay and resume. Here are a few tips to think about before you press that submit button:

Choose a Prompt that Suits You
There is no specific prompt we prefer — we promise! There are certain prompts, however, we see more of, and we can tell if you didn’t enjoy writing about your essay topic. With so many prompts to choose from (including one that allows you to totally make your own topic), there’s no reason to write about something your heart isn’t in. Explore our prompt options here.

Write from the Perspective of I, Me and My
Remember, you are the person applying to UF, not your parents/best friend/favorite teacher. We’ve read about some really incredible adventures grandparents have gone on and wildly fascinating family histories, but those essays didn’t tell us anything about the applicant. There’s no right or wrong way to tell us about yourself – as long as YOU are at the heart of the essay.

Detail is Key
Once you submit an application, it is set in stone. You can’t edit or resubmit it, so make sure you have put in everything you want us to know. We always tell students this isn’t the time to be humble – you need to brag about yourself a bit! Tell us about the impact you made on your favorite club or exactly how you served your community. If you weren’t able to participate in extracurricular activities due to family responsibilities, we want to know that too! We are trying to get a full picture of you as a person, and understanding the things that mattered to you outside of class is a key part of that.

Think About Special Programs
The UF freshman application requires one essay, but if you’re interested in applying to the Innovation Academy or the Freshman Honors Program you will have to write additional essays. IA requires one additional essay and Honors requires two. Both programs, especially the Honors program, highly value the essays students write, so take some time to plan them out.

Don’t Let the Stress Consume You
We know the college process (and senior year in general) is an important time in your life and comes with a lot of stress. But you also need to enjoy this season of life. Put your best foot forward and remember that no matter what happens, you can find a place that fits your needs. And of course, we hope that will be UF!