How to Deal with the Stressful Time of College Applications

As a high school senior, you’re already bombarded with keeping up with your day-to-day activities.  You want to end your last year on a good note, but it’s a challenge to keep up with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and possibly even a job.  Then, to add to the stress, college applications are right around the corner.

This doesn’t have to be a stressful time.  In fact, if you follow these steps it can be an easy transition from start to finish.

Start with Some Ideas

Applying to college is a huge task.  From essays to deadlines, even just the application itself can be a tedious task.  However, you’re taking a step in the right direction just by choosing to apply.  You’re trying to better your education and your future, and college can be the perfect option for those still figuring out what they want to do with their life.

The first step in the application process is to make lists – lots of them.  This way, you’ll never forget a deadline and you can keep track of what you need to get done.

Also, make a list of potential colleges that you’re interested in.  Afterwards, do the research.  Find out which school may offer the best program for your major if you’ve already decided what you want to study.  Don’t fret if you haven’t – I didn’t decide till after my first year in college.  This way, it will help your narrow down what deadlines you need to keep track of first and foremost.

Don’t Wait to the Last Minute

I can’t stress this enough.  When I was applying for UC Davis I waited till the last possible minute and finished at 11:59 p.m.  The application was due by midnight.  I think you can get the picture.

I would NOT recommend this for one very specific reason.  Just when you think you’re done, you may not be.  What I mean by this is that I was contemplating whether or not I wanted to apply and since I waited till the last possible second to do it I didn’t realize that when it asked me to submit my application that there could be another page prompting me to fill it out before my application could even be considered.  And there was, which was a page that needed me to fill out my credit card information since it costs money to apply.

Also, in light of what I just said, remember that it costs money to apply to every university.  Even though you want to apply to as many as you possibly can, it will start to add up, and any added costs will just detract from expenses you can put towards the school you attend.  You’re only choosing one college to attend in reality, so narrow your list and apply to a couple important ones and some backup schools you’d be okay with attending.

Finish Strong

Don’t forget that even though you’re getting in the mindset of college you’re still a senior in high school for the moment.  Try not to get behind on schoolwork while you’re in the process of applying.  Colleges will still look at your grades and overall GPA, and if you start to slack off they will notice.  Always take time during the day to get your schoolwork done and study before you put all your focus on your applications.

The main thing to remember is to not let yourself get overly stressed out.  It will only cause your grades and ultimately all the hard work you’ve done thus far to suffer.  So, keep calm and finish strong.  I wish you all the best of luck!

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Kali White

Kali White

Kali White is a junior at the University of California, Davis pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Her goal is to have a career working for a publication company writing and editing. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, reading, playing and listening to music, and travelling.