I didn't apply at all last year because of school and family pressures, so I had to take a gap year. Well, after school was over, I just tried to add as much as I could into my pool of Extracurricular Activities. I interned as an assistant teacher, helped organize a presentation on college application and all this other stuff. It'll be better if you build on ECAs you already have though. Also, I worked my a$$ off for the SAT and spent A LOT of time on my essays. Don't procrastinate: that's all I have to say. Get everything done in time so there won't be a struggle a few days before the deadline.