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College essays are on a long list of things that the admissions process requires of us that we just don’t want to do. Essay questions take on all sizes and forms and leave us with a sense of confusion and frustration. The deadlines, word limits, and general ambiguity all add to this confusion. So, here are some online tools to help you navigate college essays:

1. Google Drive

Google Drive boasts many helpful features. You will mostly use Google Docs, which is similar to Microsoft Word, but all online. The easy to navigate interface allows you keep all your essays organized. This is great when you have two very similar essay topics from different schools and would like to reuse material. Copying a phrase or paragraph here and reapplying it to another essay not only saves time, but also allows you to build further on a recurring topic. Another aspect that you will love will be the share feature. You can share your essays with your friends or your teachers and see the real time revisions they have made.

Moreover, you can interact real time with whoever is revising your essays. You can use Google Sheets, which is similar to Microsoft Excel, to keep track of all your college requirements and deadlines. Then, when the college admissions process is all said and done, Google Drive will save the essays for you to use at a later time or just grimace that you ever wrote something like that.

2. MIT Admissions

This may seem like a weird choice, especially if you are not applying to MIT, but the advice on this page is universal. Moreover, the advice is sweet and to the point. In fact, MIT Admissions is kind enough to also supply the same type of resource for recommendation letters, so if you are nervous about how your teacher recommendation will look, email this link to recommenders.

3. College Board

The bane of my high school experience. As much grief as College Board has caused me over my fours in high school, it does provide many helpful resources, regarding college admissions. Chief among them are its articles on how to write essays. This is really helpful for those of you who aren’t getting much support in school, as well as those of who are. If you are looking for additional help, College Board offers a college and scholarship match that allows you to find schools and financial aid that meet your needs.

4. AP Study Notes

So, maybe you learn by example. This website has collected 97 successful college essays that will give you an idea of what admissions officers are looking for. Moreover, there are so many topics to read from that you will be entertained and informed.

5. Essays that Worked 

Johns Hopkins University runs this amazing webpage that shows essays that got students accepted. These are recent essays that people submitted to Johns Hopkins and have allowed for it to share. More than that, there are comments as to why the essays were successful, so you can understand what to take back to your own writing.

College admissions is a very daunting process. There are so many documents to submit and having to write essays is one of the hardest aspects of it all. This isn’t like writing a paper for English class because that paper probably didn’t amount to anything. These essays can change your life forever, so, naturally, you want to get them write (PUN!). Hopefully, by looking through all these resources, you won’t be so overwhelmed.

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