Managing College Applications

Olivia Hood

As the fall season approaches, so do college applications. A process that every year emerges to become an extreme burden on its seniors. According to the Princeton review, over 70% of Seniors feel extreme stress during the application process. So if this sounds like you, just know that you are not alone.

Even though the endless tasks and worries of acceptance may be overwhelming, there are things that you can do to help alleviate these feelings. 

Completing multiple of these applications is usually where a large part of the stress arises from, so it is important to look at ways to not let them take control of you. College Data, a free college advisor service, provides some helpful tips on how to relax during the process. 

  1. Breathe. Greater Good in Action provides a great online resource for mindful breathing to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  2. Organize your applications. Get in control of deadlines, requirements, and responsibilities.
  3. Tell your story during essays. Don’t worry about being “perfect”, it is more important to be authentic in your writing.
  4. Apply to one safe college, where you feel strongly that you will be accepted.
  5. Look for test optional policies, if you are worried about your scores.
  6. Ask for help proofreading your submissions. This could be family members, friends, or other trusted adults. 

Finishing applications may fill you with a rush of immediate relief, but the stress of waiting for a decision will still follow, and it is important that this does not become overwhelming. So to take your mind off of it, engage yourself in senior year and enjoy what it has to offer. Simply live in the present and try not to despair over future events that are out of your control. It may also help to imagine what college life will look like, to give you something to look forward to. 

Most importantly, if nothing else is gained from reading this, it is important for you to take care of yourself. Focus on what is good for you. Take a break if you feel overwhelmed and partake in stress-relieving activities. Very Well Mind, an online mental health and wellness resource, offers some ways to reduce some of these feelings. At the end of the day, everything will work out, and you will get through it. You are not alone.