How can I vary my sentence structure more? All of my paragraphs feel like they have the same meter.
Speaking out loud is usually much more fluent than writing; it can be very helpful to give someone a verbal explanation of something before putting pen to paper. In fact, you can even talk out loud to yourself! When writing, it's easy to develop a tendency to cram as much information into each sentence as possible. When you're speaking, however, ideas are usually separated into more palatable pockets.
How can I stay focused on my homework after I've been at school all day?
It's important that you give yourself some time to unwind after your brain has been working all day. This being said, giving yourself 30 minutes to relax can easily turn into 35 minutes... or 40 minutes... or suddenly an hour, and then it feels like it's too late to start. A good idea for self-regulation is setting alarms. It can be helpful to designate how long you want to be working on each assignment, or studying each subject. For instance: If you are having difficulty with reading 40 pages of history homework, you may want to designate 20 minutes at a time to read and take notes, switching between subjects to avoid staring blankly at a page. Make sure to include breaks in between! Taking a 20 to 30 minute break after 60-90 minutes of studying can increase your stamina by a lot. It's usually not a good idea to push all the way through a huge chunk of work.
What kinds of things should I include in my college essays?
The most important aspect of an essay is your voice. Colleges receive thousands of applications every year, many of which utilize similar syntax and writing styles. Don't be afraid to talk yourself up! Your essay does not need to be heavily structured with an intro paragraph and conclusion (hamburger style), but it should be well organized. You want to answer two questions for your reader: 1) Why do you feel connection to the school you are applying to? and 2) What are some examples of what you will bring to your new environment / what have you brought to your environments in the past? This doesn't mean, though, that your entire essay should be a long-winded list of your accomplishments, nor should it be five paragraphs of pandering to the school of your dreams. Remember: Writing that demonstrates your actual personality is more memorable for your reader, and it also is an important way for the school to decide if you are actually a good fit for them.