The Common App folks have a video that walks you through the process, but I thought I'd give you a few quick suggestions related to your applications.
1. You're a first-year, even if you have college credit.
If you attend a high school right now, you are applying to be a first-year student at UVa. Even if you are dual enrolled or have taken community college courses on the side, you are a first-year. Even if you believe you will have an Associates when you earn your high school diploma, you are a first-year.
Transfers are people who have done a certain amount of college credit after completing a high school diploma. If you're a transfer student, head over to the transfer blog.
2. The Future Plans page is really, really important.
The Future Plans page is where you'll indicate whether you are applying for Early Action or Regular Decision at UVa.
If you select Regular Decision, but submit your application in October, we won't be reading it until we finish the Early Action process. It's fine to submit early (see below), but you might want to revisit this page before submission to make sure you've selected the correct radio button.
BTW, see that note "This institution has chosen not to receive the following information from your Common App"? At some point, you might generate a PDF to check over your Common App. You'll see questions that we don't ask on it and they'll be incomplete. That's expected.
3. It's too early to submit an application.
Every year, there's some eager student who submits their application soon after the Common App launch. While I think it's fine to poke around the Common App website and fill out the forms, I don't think you should submit anything right now.
Fill out the forms. If you're one of those students who worked on essays over the summer, that's great. Put those essays away for a few weeks and look at them with fresh eyes just a little bit closer to the deadline. You may find that a little distance will help with the editing process.
4. Use the Help Button
There's a maroon circle with a yellow question mark inside it on every page of the website. Sometimes it's in more than one place. Click that icon and you'll be able to search common help topics. Usually, there's already an answer to your question. If you can't find an answer, you can submit a help ticket to the support team. They're super fast.
The colleges can't fix things on the Common App website. If you call an admission office with Common App questions, they will often suggest that you contact Common App Support.
Don't rush. You have plenty of time.
Early Action Deadline: November 1
Regular Decision Deadline: January 1