Dealing with College App Anxiety: Tools to Help Students Cope

Friday, October 4, 2019

AdobeStock_192384970Stay Calm Throughout Application Season with These Top Tips

For many high school seniors, the fall semester can feel particularly stressful. Between maintaining top grades, putting the finishing touches on personal statements, and applying to colleges, there are a lot of important items on students’ agendas.

While it may be impossible to totally eliminate college application anxiety, there are a multitude of tools that can help seniors finish out the semester on a high note. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep stress at bay during the college application season.

Stay on Top of Your To-Do List
There is nothing more stressful than having to work down to the wire, so keep tabs on all of the deadlines coming your way. Set aside time to make an organized list with all of your upcoming projects, tests and exams, and due dates for college applications. Organize these to-dos chronologically and work through items on your agenda strategically. Having a list to refer back to will help keep students accountable and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
While high school seniors need to take the lead throughout the college application process, it is important to remember that no one is in this alone. Reach out to family members to share your concerns and discuss strategies and solutions to make the process feel more manageable. Students who are totally overwhelmed may wish to seek the advice of a teacher, school counselor, or independent counselor, who can offer nuanced tips that directly relate to specific goals and concerns.

Come Back to What You Love
Although seniors have a lot on their to-do lists, it’s important not to lose sight of the interests and passions that are driving your academic journey to begin with. Set aside time to participate in the hobbies and extracurricular activities that bring you the most joy, regardless off how busy your academic schedule becomes. Artistic endeavors can serve as a creative outlet and effective stress management tool while sports and other physically demanding pursuits can help keep nerves at bay.

Reflect on Your Thoughts
Instead of trying to ignore your negative feelings, carve out time to acknowledge them and reflect on potential solutions. Journaling can be an excellent outlet for students to express their thoughts and fears, reconnect with emotions they may be trying to avid, and create actionable ways to cope with these sentiments. Write down a list of feelings and worries you have surrounding the application process, reflect on these points, and then consider jotting down some solutions or steps to work through each scenario. Simply putting a pen to paper can help students express their fears and begin to work through them independently.

Reach Out to Friends
The same fears and stressors that are top of mind for you are likely pressing issues for your friends as well. Reach out to classmates and peers who are in the midst of the college application process themselves in order to support one another throughout the process. Instead of comparing their academic journey to your own, focus on the shared experiences you can support each other through and serve as a support system to one another.

While college application season is an inherently stressful time for all students, applicants can manage anxiety around the process by starting early and staying on top of their to do lists. If you are in the midst of college application season now and looking for expert guidance, our team of college counselors are here to help.




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