Ask a Collegiette: De-Stressing During the College Application Process

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

How did you manage to de-stress during the college application process? – Jordan


Jordan,

I know how stressful the college application process can be, but take comfort in knowing it’s going to be totally worth it once you receive your first acceptance letter—the one in the big envelope!

I think what I found to be most helpful during the college application process was to take each application one at a time and step by step. This will keep your stress levels low because you’ll be able to focus all of your time and attention on one specific school. Once you do this, you’ll be able to cater your answers accordingly and have more time to proofread in order to increase your chances of being accepted. You should also look into using the Common App, which is one application you can use to apply to multiple schools that request the same type of information. As sweet as this sounds, only so many schools use the Common App, so double check to see if the colleges you want to apply to use it in order to prevent any added stress!

Next, try setting up a reward system for yourself. After you apply to a certain number of schools, treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as a cute new pair of shoes or some delish froyo with friends. Doing so with keep you motivated to finish the rest of your applications and will put a smile on your face, too. Watching a movie you’ve been meaning to see or taking a Pinterest break can be just as effective if you’d rather stay in. Make sure you allow your favorite de-stressing activities – whether you do something physical, something creative or somewhere in between – to become a priority in your schedule so you stay healthy and happy.

You can also spend time with your friends or classmates to de-stress as well, since they’re going through the same stress as you are; it’ll be fun for all of you to relax together! Some fun activities include doing yoga together or going for a Starbucks run for a well-deserved peppermint mocha. If you’re someone who likes to talk things out, this is a great idea, too. When you’re able to vent to your girls about certain parts of this process, you’ll gain comfort in knowing you’re not alone. However, if a person talking about college apps stresses you out even more, you can ask to change the subject or make sure the conversation stays positive by mentioning acceptance letters.

Another way to reduce your stress is to make sure you get your applications done early. You don’t want to wait until winter break to start your applications and have to write 20 to 30 essays in a mere 10 days. Time management is key here; make a plan for each college of when you’ll start the application, which days you’ll continue to work on it, when the school’s deadline is and when you personally want to have it completed by. Then, you can enjoy your winter break with family, friends, good food and Netflix. For high school juniors, consider planning ahead by applying to colleges early action and/or early decision, which will allow you to submit your applications on an early November deadline so you’ll know if you got accepted before Christmas!

Remember how I said this process will all be worth it in the end? Well, trust me, it totally will be! College is so much fun and will help shape your future, and in order to experience all of its joys, this is just one necessary step in order to gain acceptance and begin your adventure. Do what you need to do for yourself to stay motivated and at peace while you complete your applications, and be confident in the fact that your applications will be awesome as you wait to hear back from the admissions offices of each school! Don’t forget to celebrate once you’ve submitted all of your applications – you deserve it!

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