How to Feel Confident About Your Academic Choices
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Get Excited About Your Summer Plans and Goals
Although the phrase “FOMO” may be relatively new, the idea of comparing yourself and your plans to those around you and worrying about falling short definitely isn’t. It’s human nature to want to join in and follow the group, but when it comes to preparing for college, students can’t be afraid to follow their own paths.
Instead of keeping tabs on your friend’s vacation activities, take advantage of the summer to work towards your own academic and personal goals. Keep reading to learn more about how to cope with summer FOMO and feel empowered by the choices you are making for yourself.
Write Down Your Goals
Take time to reflect on what you hope to accomplish during the next few months. Jot down any academic goals you have, such as studying for the SAT or ACT or checking a few books off of your summer reading list. Additionally, think about how you wish to grow as a student and future professional; are there skills from a job, internship, or summer course that you wish to pick up or expand upon? Write down 3-5 objectives and continue to refer back to this list of goals every week to remind yourself of what to focus on.
Redirect Your Focus
Social media makes it easy to stay in the loop when it comes to your friend’s activities. While there is nothing wrong with using Instagram or Snapchat to stay connected, limiting your time on social media can help you make space in your schedule to work towards your goals. Instead of honing in on what others are doing and comparing your schedule or experiences to theirs, let your own goals be the focus. By giving yourself the next few weeks to hone in on your goals and get a jumpstart on the next school year, it’s likely that you will have more time to catch up with friends once the school year begins.
Think Long Term
The summer can be an excellent time to step back and see the big picture. For example, spending the next few weeks studying for the SAT might not feel like the most fun option, but building your test-taking skills will pay off throughout high school, college, and beyond. Whenever your motivation starts to wane, think about what you wish to accomplish in the next few years and how you can build a foundation for these big-picture goals now.
Get Creative with Rewards
Although it is important for high school students to plan productive summers, it’s equally essential to make time for some rest and relaxation. Think about activities that you enjoy and that help you unwind and continue to pencil in at least a few hours each week for some sort of recreation. Whether it’s a movie night with friends or a long hike, seek out activities that you enjoy throughout the summer.
Turn it into Inspiration
It’s often impossible to totally turn off feelings of FOMO or the tendency to compare yourself to others. Instead of letting these emotions weigh you down, use the exciting experiences your peers are participating in to inspire your own. If you’re feeling envious of a friend with a prestigious internship, look into similar opportunities that interest you and research what it takes to earn a spot. Even if it’s something you can’t participate in until next summer, take note of the activities that you find interesting and work on making them a possibility for the future.
It can be easy to get caught up in your friend’s summer plans, but at the end of the day it’s most important to focus on your own academic journey. If you are preparing for college application season and looking for individualized input, our team of admissions counselors can create a plan just for you.