Four weeks from now

When The Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1965, it ushered in a new sound to Beatlemania. They traded their cheerful pop songs that made people clap and dance for more experimental, emotional songs that made people listen and think. No band had ever produced music like Rubber Soul’s before, and the album marked the beginning of a new era of modern music.

It was also written, recorded, and produced in just four weeks.

As related in Rolling Stone’s50 Years of ‘Rubber Soul’: How the Beatles Invented the Future of Pop”:

“The Beatles didn’t go into the studio with a mystic crystal vision to express — they went in with a deadline. They had to supply product for the 1965 Christmas season, which meant crunching it out in four frenzied weeks, from October 12th to November 12th. So they holed up in Abbey Road around the clock, pouring out music as fast as they could, holding nothing back. They were willing to try any idea, whether it turned out brilliantly (the sitar, the harmonium) or not (the six-minute R&B instrumental jam, which they wisely axed). They wrote seven of the songs in one week.”

For students staring down impending college application deadlines, it’s easy to feel demoralized and overwhelmed by the volume, stakes, and timeline of your remaining work. But as nice as it would have been to work at a leisurely pace months ago, the ever-shortening window means that it’s now time to use those deadlines as fuel.

Can’t get motivated? Writer’s block preventing you from penning a particular short-answer essay question? The enormity or pressure of the task actually making you hesitant to forge ahead? If you want to successfully apply to college, you’ll need to overcome those excuses and get to work. And deadlines can be like fuel to ignite that progress.

The Beatles went into the studio with nothing and came out four weeks later with Rubber Soul. It’s time to show what you can emerge with four weeks from now.