How To Reduce College Admission Stress
Stress is a major problem that students often face when college application dates are right around the corner. Though sometimes being stressed might be useful for you, say when you’re playing a sport, letting yourself get overwhelmed by it all the time isn’t the best idea. And if it isn’t taken care of at the right time, it can get pretty ugly.
Often referred to as the monster that bums students out at admission time, stress is sometimes inevitable and hard to get away from. But the key lies in managing it smartly. You don’t have to succumb to it. There are plenty of ways to deal with this problem, and all you need to do is find your Zen during this difficult time.
In this post, that’s our point of focus. We’ll guide you around stress management techniques when it comes to college admissions. Here’s hoping that by the end of this piece, you’ll be able to find your confidence and start on the journey of being optimistic.
Discover your Zen
The college admission process is very much like life; everyone has to go on their own separate paths to find the best for themselves. But the sad thing is that many kids always keep criticizing themselves for scoring low grades. And that’s not right because, come on, not everyone can excel in the same thing. You don’t have to be this hard on yourself for not being a genius!
Many students think that if they don’t get into a particularly prestigious college, they’ll let their families down. While that itself is an incorrect way of thinking, what’s really wrong here is the amount of pressure they have to deal with since childhood. Parents worldwide need to kick back and let their kids be themselves instead of turning them into students who are hungry for marks and are running behind their grades at all times.
Please know that your emotional, mental, and physical well-being far outweighs your acceptance to a given college. Regardless of how reputed an institution is, your well-being comes first, and it has to be prioritized over anything else.
You don’t have to sacrifice your happiness today just because you think you might be happier a year from now. Because in a year you and your stress will become best friends, just like you are today!
You can cope up pretty easily by adopting the YOLO (You Only Live Once) motto. All you need to think about is now. You can’t possibly predict the future for sure, right? You don’t know what the conditions might be in a year, and so, you shouldn’t beat yourself up today.
If the admission monster overwhelms you, step away for some time. Take a break and just calm yourself. It’s very hard for someone to own up to their feelings, and the admission time is a crucial phase. If not dealt with properly, it can do quite some damage to your mental health. You don’t have to judge yourself for coming face-to-face with your feelings. Instead, acknowledge them and accept things the way they are.
Handy Tips to Manage Admission Stress
Here are a few suggestions we think might help:
- Breathe and relax yourself.
- Learn that you can only do what you actually can do.
- Understand that you’ll keep having these moments of stress, but they’ll go by because they’re simply your feelings.
- Know that you have no control over what a college decides about your application, and thus stressing over it is pointless.
- You should let go of the idea of “dream school.” Instead, focus on the schools which you find are fit for you. We know coming out of the fantasy is very challenging, but accepting it will only result in an improved you.
- Make a list of the available options and consider the colleges which might actually accept your application.
You can also go for some other tips to feel relaxed and refreshed:
- Consume healthy food. Fruits and veggies are your best friends.
- Go outside and enjoy nature. This is a real tension buster.
- Sing, dance, or do any other activity which you think might relieve you and draw your focus away from the admissions.
- Talk to a therapist and tell them in detail what you're feeling.
- Indulge yourself in meditation, or else read a book about meditation.
- Set a target for helping anyone that you find. Be it any small task like carrying the groceries.
- Make a list of the things that you’re grateful for. Studies show that if we train our brain to focus on such things we become much happier.
- Take breaks whenever you feel to recharge your brain's battery.
- When you start doubting yourself, divert your mind to think of what good things you have going on in your life.
You also need to draw a fine line between work and stress. Don’t pressurize yourself about your application, try to balance things out. You need to get your rest and not sacrifice your family or your vacation time. Another thing to focus on is your physical fitness. It has to go hand-in-hand with your studies. You need to strive to get that balance because your admission process will probably go in a much easier and positive way if you achieve it. Give yourself some time to discover your interests. Socialize and get away from books from time to time.
But then, we know that there are times when you can’t back out. Say, for example, that there’s an important and tough test for you to write or maybe complete an assignment that the school has handed you as part of the admission process. You need to prioritize it without panicking about it.
The Biggest ‘NO’
No matter what you do, please don’t fall in the trap of negative and suicidal thoughts. If you feel like you’re losing control, talk to your parents about it, or give a call on the suicidal hotline in your area. You can even speak with a neighbor or a friend who you feel might hear you completely without interrupting or giving baseless suggestions. You can also ask them to take you to the closest emergency room.
We know the pain that you’re going through is tough, but that doesn’t mean there’s no solution. When you feel that life is getting harder, the brain starts making physical changes and doesn’t function properly. You should realize this and avoid relying on it for making the correct decisions.
Promise yourself that you will seek some sort of help before taking any uncalculated step. Suicidal thoughts are the last thing a child should have. You’ve probably got a whole lot to live for and taking such a step isn’t acceptable.
You should rather change your environment for some time. Talking to your parents and friends, going out for a walk, and socializing can help drastically. Everyone around you cares for you, and taking such a step will hurt them far more than it hurts you.
A Few Final Things to Remember
There’s more to life than worrying about college admissions. We get that it’s hard for you to understand this, but please know that there are many ways to become the person you want to be. If one door closes, you can find another one in a matter of time. But giving up is not the solution.
We’ve all had our fair share of horrible experiences. But at some point we figured out that problems are always going to be there, no matter what. What everyone needs to do is find ways to power through and not give in. Try to make a mental note of these points, and whenever the going gets too tough, remind yourself about them:
- Explore gratitude.
- Have a change of environment.
- It’s completely normal to be stressed out.
- Look for your feelings and face them.
- Take breaks whenever you want to. Refresh your brain every time.
- Suicide is not an option!