My kids all wrote their essays close to the deadline. For them, it reduced stress. I suggested they look through photo albums (yes we had them) and that seemed to trigger ideas. One of mine wrote the essay literally the night before. I think starting too early makes essays into a huge deal. They don’t have to be.
2 posts were split to a new thread: Should colleges abandon essays?
Two kids, totally different realities. One started early and edited, edited, reworked, changed topics, edited, etc. The other whipped it out in 20 minutes the night before she wanted to send (and it was a great essay as she’s a very good writer).
I’d say the first was more intriguing but they both were great.