The college application process requires a lot of detailed planning and then executing that plan in a time bound manner. In the absence of a clear plan, the college application process can be a really stressful ordeal. While it is difficult to eliminate the stress completely, it can be made manageable and the student can handle it and prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Use these 5 Tips to Survive College Application Season Stress:
1.) Plan, Plan and Plan
Make sure that you are clear about your goals. Make sure that you are clear about the timeliness. Make sure that you have a clear idea of the requirements. The application is not very complicated but is long and requires attention to details. This means that it requires time. Make sure you can devote the time required to meet the application process. So ensure that you have a plan and that you stick to it.
Ensure that you clearly know the various details. Write these down.
– Application due dates for each school
– Test requirements
– Date of tests
– specific college requirements
– Any other paperwork you’ll need or deadlines you’ll have to meet (financial aid, etc).
– Letters of recommendation you’ll need and who you’ll ask.
– The number of supplemental essays required by each school and each essay prompt
– Common application essays / prompts.
Ensure that you set up some time to build an understanding of the work involved. The deadlines may seem distant, but you have other things to do at school and other extracurricular activities etc. The time will just fly. So start now!
The work you do early in the application cycle will ensure that you do not get stressed when the deadlines approach. The act of planning and the small activities will set you thinking and that will reduce stress over time.
2.) Make a Calendar:
Get a detailed calendar ready and in place. Fill in the details. Start to the work backwards from the deadlines and divide tasks into common and specific college based tasks. Set separate in process deadlines for these tasks. This will ensure that you know what is needed clearly and set up a process to get it done.
3.) Be realistic:
Be realistic when you are making choice of courses and colleges. Make your own decisions basis your own understanding rather than picking colleges that your friends are picking. Make sure to include colleges that you like and that are likely to admit you. Your own research and your own likes and dislikes need to be focussed on. Be sure of the time that you can spend and put that in to the planning process. Also, be sure that you put in some buffer time so that the contingencies can be taken care of.
4.) Do not overly discuss applications with other students:
Once you have a plan, stick to it. Stick to your own schedules. Plan early and it will ensure that you will complete your applications on time. Do not be swayed by what the other students are doing and do not compare yourself to them. They have their own plans and the logic of that plan is different from yours. Comparison can become a cause of major stress and push you into making mistakes. Enjoy the process of making the applications. It is also a great learning process about yourself.
5.) Seek help if you feel overwhelmed:
There is a lot of help available in making applications. The school counsellors, school teachers and the college reps all can answer your questions and guide you through the process. Use these resources. There are a lot of online resources that are available. Use them. Do not be afraid of asking for help. Reach out.
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