Here are important considerations to keep in mind as you think about college application essays:
If you are high school freshman or sophomore: Don't worry about college application essays now. Your focus should be to develop that spike, study hard for the PSAT/SAT/ACT, AP exams, and any other tests you have coming up. In fact, it may even hurt your chances of getting into a good college if you waste your time now on college essays rather than studying for an exam. If you are really itching to do something for your college application essays, the most you should be doing is keeping an list or journal of your experiences that you might write about later on.
If you are a high school junior: You can start working on college essays in the beginning of June. There is no need to start drafting college essays anytime before June. This is because your priority before June should be to get high scores on the AP exams in May and maintain (or get) a high GPA. Some might even be studying for the SAT in June ( in pre-pandemic times), in which case, don't start college essays until after your exams! College essay writing may seem daunting but it's a very straightforward task to complete in about 2.5 months. Early decision/action deadlines are typically around November 1st.