How To Not Stress About College Apps

Tips to de-stress during the most stressful time of year for seniors

Well, it's that time of year again: seniors all over are stressing about essays, teacher recs, and extracurriculars. I, too, have found myself just staring at the Common App, hoping it will fill out itself. Now that I know what to do and what not to do, I've put together a list of how to keep cool in the craziest time of year.

  • Don't quit doing what you love. This is a big mistake. If you love photography, but are taking time away from that hobby to research colleges and study for tests, you're sure to stress out. Make sure you keep that time in your life to do the hobby that makes you happy. It will keep you calmer when it comes time to sit down and begin filling out those applications.
  • Stay organized. Set goals for yourself for when you want things done and then when that time comes, actually do it. For example, I told myself every Sunday I would work on applications, and I wanted them done by the middle of October. Now, i unfortunately got sick, and had to revise my schedule to alott for extra sleep, so, yeah, that change in my plans added a little extra stress. But that's unavoidable. Don't just put it off to watch TV. Get it done, and then when it's all over it's the best feeling in the world.
  • Apply to a safety that you wouldn't actually mind going to. See, here's the thing: no one ever knows what college admissions people are going to do next. Any guidance counselor will tell you to have a safety. But spend as much time looking for your safety as any other college. Because --knock on wood -- if that's where you end up going, you want to be able to enjoy your college experience, even if it wasn't your first choice. You want it to be like, "Oh, I'm not going to University A? Cool, i guess that means I'm going to University B!" ..... Ok I know no matter what it's not going to be exactly like that if you don't get into your dream school. But, just like in math, we want that to be the limit. You know, get as close to that as possible?

This is me hoping I remembered what a limit is correctly...

Anyways, my last piece of advice is this, and it sort of goes with the first one but I'm making it it's own category so just go with it. Don't be afraid to joke around, have fun, be a teenager! This IS your last year of high school, so remember to make the most of it.


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