Applying for college is a stressful phase for both students and their parents. With so much already happening in high school, college applications bring with them the added pressure to make the right decision, gather important documents, work on the application and of course, submit a stellar personal statement.
The hopes are high and so is the stress. Everyone is in the race to be the ‘perfect’ applicant, which does not make life any easier. While you can’t help feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to make conscious efforts to stay calm for the betterment of your own mental health.
Don’t let anxiety take over. Here are 6 ways you can manage stress during this crucial period.
Narrow Down on Colleges
You might want to apply to 20 odd colleges in order to keep your “options open”, but such an approach is not advisable. Not only will it turn out to be an expensive affair, you will end up juggling with too many applications and do justice to none.
Start with an elaborate list and start prioritizing the colleges basis factors such as the programs available, location, tuition fees, admission requirements and amenities among others. Have all the information spread out in a tabular format, weigh your options, and narrow down on 7-10 colleges. It’s a good idea to rank them in advance, so it’s easier to make decisions later.
So, do begin early and invest enough time in doing quality research on the colleges. Check their website, visit the college if possible and get feedback from the alumni to be able to work on your shortlist.
You are applying to 7-10 colleges – each of them has their unique set of requirements. The last thing you want is to get lost in the plethora of information and lose track.
So, once you know which colleges you want to apply to, start organizing this information on a master spreadsheet. From deadlines and prerequisites to the point of contact and tracking progress – it needs to be your go-to list for all things related to college applications. If you are applying for scholarship, do factor in scholarship essays and their requirements to stay on track.
As you will be dealing with multiple documents, create separate folders for each college, so you have all the materials organized accordingly.
Focus on the Essay
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Personal statements are an integral element of application forms. They let the admission committee understand more about you and assess whether you are suitable for candidacy.
So, make sure you set aside ample time for it because it requires you to brainstorm ideas, research on the topic, outline the essay after which you can get down to writing it. Don’t make the mistake of using one personal statement for all colleges. It’s always advisable to have a tailor-made approach in order to stand out.
If you see that you are running out of time, seek help from essay writing services and get original, high quality essays even within few hours. Leaving this essay for the last minute and doing a shoddy job at it will only add to your stress because there is no room for substandard essays.
Talk it Out
Owing to the stress and anxiety that college applications bring with them, there will be times when you will experience sleepless nights and restlessness. The fear of what lies ahead might consume you and take over your life.
At such times, don’t hesitate to turn to your family and friends. Lean on your support system and talk to them about what you are going through. Share your fears and let it all out. Venting out might not always give you a solution but it surely helps in relieving the tension.
Take a Break
Another plus point of starting early is that you can break down the application process and give yourself a break from time to time in order to not reach a stage of burn out.
Writing one essay after the other and running in all directions to scope recommendation letters and transcripts can get exhausting. What you need is some downtime wherein you can relax and indulge in activities that take your mind off applications and help you rejuvenate.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
A lot of your stress can be tackled depending on the state of mind you are in. It’s important to maintain a positive outlook, overcome perfectionism and believe that the best will happen. Don’t attach your self-worth to the outcome of college applications and take rejection personally.
There are bound to be rejections along the way, but you need to learn from them and plan your next move. So, just do your best and quit worrying about factors that are not in your control.
About the Author
Adela Belin is the head of digital marketing and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She writes about motivation, mental health, personal development and all things in between. She hopes to make a difference in people’s lives by sharing relevant stories inspired by her personal journey. Feel free to contact Adela on LinkedIn.