Updated: May 14
What’s the worst kind of stress? The stress of applying to college or waiting for that acceptance letter? We can totally understand those sleepless nights and that constant feeling of butterflies in the stomach during the college acceptance season. Stepping out of high school is supposed to be a liberating, ecstatic experience. But it's also the time when the next important phase of your life begins leaving you with that bothering anxiety. Technology, society and uncertainty add fuel to the fire, only worsening the tension.
A lot of students admit that they go through the entire process of college application in their heads time and time again just to be sure, they have done everything right. But that never helps, more often than not adding to the nervousness.
But there are a few ways to manage the stress of the college acceptance season effectively that we always advise our students and, in this blog, we are trying to cover those tips for you. Let us know what worked (and what didn’t) for you.
From chaos to order
We know, right now, there’s chaos in your head. The best way to deal with it is to organize your thoughts and tell your mind clearly what’s in your control, and what isn’t. The arrow has left the bow. The admission committee has already gone through your application and probably made up its mind by now. So, there’s no use sweating over whether or not you’ll get the seat you have your eye on. Just relax and - if it happens just as you planned, it’s great. If it doesn’t happen as you planned, it’s divine! So, keep repeating this mantra in your head- “there’s always be a way for me.”
Opt-out of the Hunger Games
Competition aggravates stress. Life is not a competition. We have discussed before that if the reason you are looking to get into that world-renowned college is to prove your mettle to your peers, the admission committee is not going to be impressed. They look for students who are sorted, and have a clear objective and a pure pursuit of gaining knowledge, learning with the best mentors and giving back to society. So, stop comparing yourself with that cousin of yours or that neighbor’s ivy graduate daughter. You will have what’s best for you.
“Mom, Dad, we need to talk!”
Parental expectations may really make matters worse. Every parent wants his child to be a Harvard graduate. Not just the expectation, the over-the-top shower of love, care and concern may also make you shift in your seats. We know, we have been there. And trust us, your parents are sitting on a hot seat just like you. Having said that, unreasonable parental expectations should be out of your way and for that, you need to have a rational conversation with your parents.
Tell them that you have given your best.
Tell them that there are millions of students all over the world competing for that same seat.
Tell them that irrespective of the result, you are confident of doing yourself well in the future.
Tell them if you get into that ambitious college do not flaunt it with that ‘Proud Parents of a Harvard Graduate’ sticker behind their car.
Revisit your plan B
Again, as a sensible new-age student, keep your options open. Yes, that ivy league is the place you want to be. But the ivy league is not your destination. It’s a via point. Ask yourself, what are the other routes that may take you to the career or future you dream of. There have been numerous smart and successful people who have been to not-so-famous universities. So, review your plan B. What other colleges can you opt for? What if you get on the wait list? Clearly and boldly face all those questions.
WritersQi counselors have seen the stress both during college application as well as during the college acceptance season. We believe that if handled wisely by both students and parents, the time will be a lot less stressful than what it is touted to be. Book a consultation to talk to us about your college acceptance queries.