While the transition from high school to college can be exciting, college admissions can also be stressful for students and their parents. There are many reasons to be stressed out, from having anxiety and stress over writing college admissions essays to worrying about where financing would come from. In fact, college admissions stress high school students so much it has been suggested that the system is basically broken. Some students feeling college admissions stress may even suffer detrimental effects on their physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. With all these going on, it’s easy to assume that college admissions and stress simply go hand in hand. However, students and parents must know that college admissions stress doesn’t have to be extreme. In this post, we learn how to deal with college admissions stress by looking at some tips for minimizing stress and anxiety.
Tips for Coping with College Admissions Stress
One of the major sources of stress is the pressure to complete everything within a limited period. Every year, students race against the clock to accomplish all requirements. However, the simple solution to this is to simply start early. For instance, you might give in to the temptation to write the admissions essay at the last minute only to find out that you don’t have enough time to write a good one. Delaying things is a monumental mistake, but it is also a completely avoidable one. Avoid procrastinating and you’ll realize just how big a difference it makes if you allot enough time to complete the process.
Create a timeline
Handling stress about college admissions can also be lessened by creating a timeline for the entire process. College admissions have many components including writing essays, corresponding with admissions officers, and gathering relevant documents. If you create a timeline for these and set milestones to mark your progress, you will be able to distribute work more equally over the span of months. This will help you avoid rushing everything when the deadline’s already nearing. That being said, give your timeline some flexibility so that you can make adjustments as necessary.
Take your studies seriously
Now that we’ve talked about starting early, remember that building solid foundations for college admissions begins the moment you enter high school. It’s never too early to make college admissions less stressful, and one way to do this is by taking your studies seriously. This means you should focus on performing well in class, gathering experience such as volunteer work, and reviewing for standardized tests such as the SATs. Being serious in your studies now and yielding good academic records, as a result, will make you worry a lot less later. With an excellent academic background, you can bet that you have higher chances of getting into your college of choice.
Eat right and exercise
Another way to lessen stress over college admissions is by keeping yourself in good health. Poor nutrition and lack of physical exercise will only bring you more stress if you’re already under psychological and emotional strain. Make sure that your physical health is maintained by eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in exercise. In fact, studies have shown that leading a healthy lifestyle contributes to a general sense of happiness.
Don’t forget to relax
Another way to a stress-free college admissions process is by finding the time to relax. While you need to devote a great deal of time and effort into completing requirements and communicating with admissions officers, you should also take a break once in a while. Spending all your resources on college admissions will only exhaust you, which can be more harmful in the long run since it can lead to loss of concentration and demotivation. Having time for relaxation, on the other hand, will keep you refreshed and ready to continue with the entire process.
Build a support system
Having a support system is also vital to dealing with college admissions stress. At this point, it must be acknowledged that college admissions have become too complicated for young students to handle on their own. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from your parents, teachers, and school counselors. Apart from guiding you on the process, they can also give you advice on how to handle college admissions stress. They can also lend you emotional and psychological support if you’re feeling discouraged and helpless.
Explore financing options
A big part of the stress that affect students when applying to colleges comes from the cost. Many students are hindered from entering their college of choice not by the lack of academic merit but by lack of money. Indeed, this problem is becoming bigger as the cost of college continues to rise. Paying adequate attention to where funding will come from can help you lessen stress. For example, checking out flexible payment options and applying for scholarships can aid in offsetting the financial burden of college. If you know that you’re financially secure, then you can focus on more important things.
Don’t focus on your first choice
While most students have a list of two or more colleges that they’re applying to, virtually everyone has that one college that they consider as their first choice or dream choice. However, focusing too much on your dream college may cause you undue stress as you concentrate all your resources into getting into that one college. Remember, a list of colleges you want to attend is composed of schools that are likely equal when it comes to the quality of education. Keep yourself open to the possibility of attending any of your choices; doing so will ease some of the pressure that you put on yourself.
Change your thinking
Fear of rejection is perhaps the number one source of stress for students. The vast majority of students will receive at least one rejection letter. One way to address this fear is by changing your perspective. Getting a rejection letter is not the end of the world. Furthermore, what you do in college is far more important than the college itself. Finally, you should use rejection as an opportunity to build resilience. By changing your perspective, you will be able to prepare yourself for rejection and use that as motivation to improve and make the most of any opportunity that will come your way.
Resist pressure from others
It’s normal for people to have expectations of you. For example, your friends might pressure you into attending their school of choice, you parents might want you to choose their school, or your family might even have high expectations of your overall performance. Wanting to meet all these expectations can heighten your stress levels. Don’t forget that you are still in control of your choice of college and how you deal with the college admissions process. Your support system will give you plenty of good advice, and you should heed most of them, but remain true to what you want and what you believe is best for you.
Seek recommendations from teachers
Another strategy to lessen the stress of applying to colleges is asking for recommendations from your teachers. Most schools including the most selective ones require recommendation letters from school counselors and teachers. Including these in your application can increase the chances of getting accepted. However, your request for recommendations and their contents are only as good as your performance and your behavior. So you should do your best to cultivate good relations with teachers and counselors and make sure that you have the academic merit to substantiate the contents of recommendation letters.
Seek professional help
Finally, you can lessen the stress of college admissions by seeking professional help. There is an entire industry that caters to the needs of students. As said earlier, you need to be in control of the process, especially when it comes to choices. Nevertheless, getting some help is not bad at all, particularly if it’s truly useful. For instance, there are companies that specialize in giving students advice on how to navigate the complexities of the process. There are also companies that conduct reviews for standardized tests. And still, there are companies that can coach you on writing great application essays. You just have to ask them to “write my admission essay please” and they’d be glad to lend you their expertise.
During the past years, the process of applying to colleges has become so difficult that college admissions stress statistics are off the charts. Due to college admissions stress, many students today ask how to avoid being stressed by college admissions. While stress is unavoidable, a great deal of pressure can be relieved by following some of the tips noted above. Starting early, remaining healthy, building a support system, seeking recommendations, and getting professional help are just of the ways to make the process of college admissions more bearable and increase your chances of getting accepted.