How to Handle Stress During the College Applications Process

Applying to college can be a stressful process. Here are some helpful tips in order to minimize stress:


  The best way to remove some of the unnecessary stress is to plan ahead!

  Manage your expectations! Begin by creating a list of schools and ensure that you have schools for these three categories: safeties, targets, dream schools.

  Create your list of schools and thoroughly research each major that you will be applying to at each school! Some majors have additional applications, it’s a good idea to know exactly what each school expects you to do, so there are no “surprises” in the application process.

  Set attainable goals!

  Create an outline of what needs to be done; include the various parts of the applications and the deadlines.

  Create your own deadlines and get the work done early, that way you are not rushing last minute to turn in your applications.

  Create a checklist for each application-including sending in test scores, transcripts, and other additional items.

  Start early! Do not wait until you begin your senior year; start this process early in your Junior year. Start researching colleges, majors, and application requirements.

  Ask your teachers for letters of recommendation towards the end of your junior year, and then kindly ask them again when senior year begins.

  Ideally, have the test score you are happy with before senior year begins, that way you can focus on your classes and grades.

  Ask your counselor for help! There is no such thing as a silly question. It is part of our job to help guide you through the process. Plus, we have already done this many times before!

  Start writing your essays as soon as the prompts come out! You will do many revisions, so give yourself time to do so!

  The more time you give yourself to get things done, the better. It is better to be done early rather than scrambling at the last minute.

  Take time for self-care!

  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be sure to listen to your counselor’s advice!