How to Stay Calm While Applying to College

How to Stay Calm While Applying to College

Alexandra Delahunt, Writer

Let’s face it, applying to college is an extremely stressful process. It can be nerve-wracking, especially with the crazy amounts of applications and paperwork that must be completed. Although this stress is inevitable as college approaches, here are a few tips to get you through the college application process and stay (somewhat) sane.

The first tip is to make a calendar. Having a calendar makes everything much more organized and makes it almost impossible to miss a deadline for submitting your applications. Make sure to differentiate “hard” deadlines and “soft” deadlines. An example of a “hard” deadline can be applying to a college by that date. A “soft” deadline can be getting recommendation letters from your teachers. Speaking of letters of recommendation, ask for one early in the process, around the end of your junior year. Pick a teacher that you have a good relationship with and can write about you the best.

Another tip is to think about your essay before you even start writing it. When you sit down to write it and are staring at a blank Word document, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Start thinking about a unique essay topic that will stick in the mind of an admissions officer. Don’t forget that freewriting and outlining before actually writing your essay can be extremely helpful to the process!

Probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make during this time is asking fellow students where they are in their application process. Inevitably, there will be people that have everything finished and are just waiting back to hear from their schools before you have even submitted just one application. Hearing this will automatically make you assume that you’re behind in the process, but just remember that everyone works at their own pace. Just worry about your own deadlines and you will finish your applications like everyone else.

Your family will be crucial at this time, so make sure to appreciate and utilize their help. Set aside an hour or so every week solely just for working on college applications with them. It would also be wise to do it at the same time each week so it becomes a habit. Doing this will also force you to progress in your application since every week you will have to come back with something accomplished since the last time you met.

Although this will be one of the more stressful times in your life, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will finish your applications, even though it seems nearly impossible at times. Just always remain positive and remember that all this hard work will be worth it in the long run!