5 Ways to Conquer College Process Anxiety

It’s that time of year again; colleges and universities around the world are sending out letters to deliver news of excitement or despair. It’s understandable that, during this stressful time, students are beginning to worry about what their futures hold. 

As most people will tell you, there is a lot at stake during the college application process. However, if you play your cards right, you will succeed and end up at the school where you belong. The question is, how exactly do you play your cards right?

In an attempt to answer this ever-dreaded question, I have compiled a list of tips that I feel to help immensely in succeeding during the college acceptance process. 


Here are some ways to conquer the college process:

1. The name of the school is not as important as the school itself 

Where I come from, the names of the schools that you apply to and get into are significant. I found that preppy students especially were pressured into applying exclusively to schools that had prestigious names. Therefore, school names like Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, UCLA, USC, among others were very popular throughout the college process at my old school; students were funneled into schools with distinguished names and reputations. Although pursuing schools with distinguished names is fashionable and common, it is by no means necessary, nor is it the best way to go about the college process for most people. In fact, getting caught up in the name of a school that you might apply to can only make your application experience more stressful and less personal. There is no shame in going to a school that doesn’t have a highly distinguished name or reputation. The name of a school is not what matters; what matters is that a school will support you, allow you to thrive, and allow you to become the best version of yourself. So, although it might be hard, it is best to disregard the significance of something so superficial as a school’s name during the application process. 


2. Consider the 3-5 characteristics that you need in a school 

When considering a large range of schools, it is important to have an idea of the characteristics you are looking for in a new home. For example, the five characteristics that I refused to compromise on were a school’s location, dorms, dining hall, size, and student body. Although it’s important to be open-minded and optimistic when touring new schools, it is also important to know what you are looking for; make sure to know what you need and what you can’t live without in your new home. Because you’ll spend the next four years here, you want to be comfortable!


3. Choose the school that’s best for you, not for someone else 

Parents, guidance counselors, relatives, and your peers will all be big influencers in deciding where you will ultimately attend. However, at the end of the day, you have to remember that youare the one who actually has to go to that school for the next four years. In this case, you must put your needs and desires before the needs and desires of others. If this is a hard thing for you to do, just remember that it is your future that you are considering, not anyone else’s. In making decisions that will impact your future, it is important to be a little selfish. 


4. Consider financials

In deciding where to go to school, sometimes it is important to consider the scholarships and grants that you may or may not be offered. College is expensive; it’s a sad reality, but an education comes at an immense cost. I’m sure that your parents or guardians will not let you forget the significance of a school’s cost. However, I thought financial consideration was essential to this list as it is a significant aspect of the college process. So, when deciding on a school, remember the costs and benefits of going to that school in particular. 


5. Do not fear rejection

It is completely normal and acceptable to cry over getting rejected from a school. However, as you’re wrapped in your sheets and listening to Adele, remember that this rejection will not be the end of your career as a worthy and respectable student or person. Yes, there will always be schools that say no to you. However, there will also always be so many schools that accept you with open arms. Don’t focus on rejection; it is inevitable and for the best. Ask yourself, would you really want to go to a school that doesn’t want you back? Instead, focus on the schools that do want you back. Everything works itself out in the end. 


At the end of the day, you have to do what you believe is best for yourself and your future throughout the college application process. Although you might get rejected from schools that you really wanted to go to, and although you might have a hard time deciding where you ultimately want to attend, just remember that you will end up where you belong. Everything will work out!

I believe in you, now believe in yourself and go conquer this college process!