5 Ways to Avoid Excess Stress When Applying to Colleges

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A girl works on a computer Applys to college

‘Tis the season for application deadlines, senioritis, and the infamous pre-college-acceptance anxiety. It’s an inevitable stress-filled process, but it’s the beginning of the end. Here are 5 ways to avoid excess stress when applying to colleges.

  1. Do not procrastinate. 

I’m sure you’ve heard it from teachers, parents, friends, and maybe even your own conscience, but I’m telling you, as repetitive and annoying as it may be, do not procrastinate. If you engrain that in your head and follow through with it, you will avoid an unimaginable amount of stress. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than filling out an application the night before it’s due (I know this from experience). I can also attest to prioritizing Netflix over The CommonApp, but you’ll thank yourself later if you just buckle down and get ‘er done—this is a guarantee.

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  1. Stay Organized.

Not too long ago was I a high school senior struggling to balance my school work, extracurriculars, a job, my social life, and the added stress of applying to college. With so much going on in a given day, it wasn’t easy keeping my schedule straight. Deadlines snuck up on me, application essays didn’t get written before midnight, and I was becoming more overwhelmed and exhausted by the minute. That is, until I discovered the beauty of my agenda. Start by writing down all the dates on which applications are due. Detail which ones require essays and which require just your basic information so you know what needs the most time and attention. Designate a folder to all your college-related paperwork including resumés and printed test scores; If you have everything in one spot it’ll make it far easier when the applications inevitably asks for that info.

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  1. Don’t Compare Your Progress/Success to Other’s. 

It’s much easier said than done, but it’s a must. There will always be the kids who’ve already applied to numerous schools and have maybe even gotten in. The key is to focus on you, and don’t listen to any self-doubt. You’ll get it done, so don’t pressure yourself by comparing what you’ve accomplished thus far to one of your peers. At the end of the day, you’re all going to choose one school at one time to do one thing—learn.

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  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help. 

Don’t feel like the entire weight of the world is on your shoulders. If you need help, ask for it! There are so many resources to your disposal—your parents, friends, teachers. Whether you need help editing an essay, looking over your entire application, or even needing to vent about the entire process, people are out there willing to help and support you.

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  1. Relax. Seriously.

Take a deep breath. You’re in the home stretch. If you need a change of scenery, work outside. If you’re tired of looking at the same computer screen, fill out some applications at school instead of at home. Take breaks when you need them. Listen to yourself. Although these times of college preparation test our drive and dedication, enjoy your last year as a high school student. It flies by faster than you can believe—truly. Before you know it you’ll be accepted and excited, ready to conquer the next four years.

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