This is the consensus. If you're applying for this year, don't fret. You have hurt yourself, but overcoming obstacles is what it's all about.
If you're applying next year, well, ask what the 2º essay questions are & get a head start. It can't hurt. Schools sometimes change essay questions, but sometimes they keep them the same.
absolutely!!! Most schools have a rolling admissions cycle. SO, there are X number of seats in the class, they sort of interview and fill them as they go, so if you apply late, there may be no seats left, and you will be competing for a waitlist slot only.
Another advantage, not as many people apply super early (June) so the reviewers get to your application earlier, and have a smaller pile to go through.