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    Dealing With The Stress Of College Admissions

    By Sanskriti Khera
    13 Jul'22  6 min read
    Dealing With The Stress Of College Admissions
    Synopsis

    It is common to see students stressed and worried during the time of college applications and admissions. However, it is important to know that it is a phase that would lead one to progress and growth. This article talks about some ways students can cope with college application stress during the admissions’ season.

    Dealing With The Stress Of College Admissions
    Synopsis

    It is common to see students stressed and worried during the time of college applications and admissions. However, it is important to know that it is a phase that would lead one to progress and growth. This article talks about some ways students can cope with college application stress during the admissions’ season.

    It’s that time of the year again! You switch on the TV, and see ads of various colleges and universities announcing their admissions open. When you sit to read the newspaper to get some updates of what’s been happening around you, the first two pages are filled with similar ads. When you finally sit with your laptop to watch something, you see multiple open tabs of college websites, and various brochures piled up on your desk. You have just got done with your board exams, and while you were thinking of taking a break, a distant inner voice crept in, asking- ‘What next?’;‘Which college?’;‘What course?’.

    College admissions and the time before them can indeed be stressful. Since it’s a new milestone in an aspirant’s life, it is but natural to feel some stress about college admissions and whether you are making the right decision. Also, with the variety of course and college options students have these days, to choose wisely becomes all the more important. There are a lot of new fields that have picked up quickly in the past few years, leading to an array of newer courses to choose from.

    Spiral Of Dilemmas

    A lot of times, students find themselves stuck in a dilemma of whether they should make a completely objective decision, or listen to what their parents or friends say. There might also be conflicts like you wanting to move to a different city but parents not allowing it. Here, a mature decision would be to evaluate your level of financial and emotional stability, and take

    Also Read | Your Stream Need Not Limit Your Career Options: Check Out Some Real-Life Stories

    College Vs Course Dilemma

    The ‘College Vs Course’ conflict is nothing new. A large number of aspirants get confused as to whether they should choose to take their preferred course in an average college, or go to the best college and take a course they don’t prefer as much. This dilemma adds even more to one’s college application stress. In such situations, it might be a wise thing to do to figure out which course you are interested in, and then target the best college you can get into to pursue that course.

    Also Read | Stream Selection For Class 11: What To Do When You Don’t Fit In Any Of The Three Streams

    What Else Adds Up ?

    In addition to what we have just discussed, what are the factors that add to the college application stress aspirants face before and during admissions? Maybe one or more of these:-

    • Juggling too much between applications, coachings, extra-curriculars, and the likes of these
    • Drive for perfectionism; trying to be the best at everything
    • Over-indulging in social media
    • Feeling burdened by expectations of family and other close people
    • Constant worry about long-term goals and outcomes
    • Not taking proper care of diet, sleep
    • Being surrounded by family or friends who are excessively worried or anxious, and end up projecting their anxieties onto you

    Also Read | Stay Grounded, Prevent Stress: Follow These 7 Mindfulness Tips

    A Research’s Gist

    Research shows that a large number of teens begin facing mental health issues before the college application process starts, which can make them more vulnerable to rejection. College admission anxiety and depression has been increasing since the last few years. Over 30% of teens aged 13 to 18 years have anxiety issues. About 13% of kids ages 12 to 17 deal with depression. Additional pressure of having perfect test scores, grades, essays, and extracurricular activities to get into college adds onto the college application stress.

    college application stress, college admission anxiety and depression, stress about college admissions, managing college application stressCollege Admission Anxiety And Depression Has Been Increasing Since The Last Few Years

    Also Read: How To Identify Depression: Know When To Seek Help

    Taming Your Admission Stress

    There are ways you can deal with stress about college admissions. Let’s take a look at some ways for managing college application stress:-

    Do Your Research

    One way for managing college application stress is to know your interests, collect enough facts and data about the colleges offering your courses of your choice, their admission process, timelines, etc. These days the websites have almost every information needed. This will help you feel eased out and get more clarity. If needed, speak to a qualified and experienced career counsellor who can help you objectively narrow down your choices.

    Reach Out To A Senior

    One of the effective ways of seeking guidance while you apply to colleges and to reduce the college application stress is to reach out to a senior, that is, an alumnus of the college, and talk to them about your concerns and queries. This will help you get a first-hand account of how the college works, how good the faculty is, what facilities are provided, and so on. You can thus, be better prepared for what you are going to be getting to.

    Also Read | 8 Ways To Help You Avoid Fatigue In Chasing Marks And Ranks

    Talk To People Who Care

    Needless to say, this is a crucial and stressful time of your life. Therefore, you don’t have to struggle alone. It is important to find a support system, be it your friends or your family. Your parents and elder siblings may have been in similar situations some time in the past, and your friends are also probably in the same boat as you, so try having heart-to-heart conversations with them, such that you feel light and validated. This would be helpful way in managing college application stress.

    Indulge In Self-Care

    Despite the stress about college admissions lurking in your head, try to take a short break once your board exams finish, so that you get a breather and some time to rejuvenate. All you would need to do is plan a bit. Go for a small vacation, focus on your health, rest your body, or meet your loved ones.

    Also Read | “Distinguish Between Real And Imagined Fears”, Expert On Dealing With Exam Anxiety

    Do Not Compare

    Your friends may choose to go into a different college than you. Some of whom you saw as competition may even get a better college than you do. But remember that you should not be comparing yourself with others and the choices they make. Focus on yourself and what you want because in the end, the only person accountable to you is yourself. You may never know what wonderful experiences await you in your college.

    The time of admissions can be daunting and along comes the college application stress. Therefore, it’s important to reach out to your loved ones for support and professional counsellors for help. The beginning of anything new often brings confusion, but eventually leads us to clarity and progress. Be open to new experiences, be flexible, and focus on building the necessary skills that textbooks don’t teach. It’s okay to feel a little anxious and stressed, take a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass!

    Also Read: Self-Care Tips To Feel Happy And Rejuvenated

    References

    1. Office of Population Affairs. Mental health for adolescents.

    Sanskriti Khera is a Counselling Psychologist, with five years of extensive hands-on experience in helping young adults navigate through social and emotional concerns. Her approach to counselling is person-centered, trauma-informed, and insight-oriented. She was formerly Counsellor at the Ashoka Centre For Well-Being, Ashoka University, Sonepat. Currently, she is a Consultant with Daffodils Therapy Studio, New Delhi.






    • Health
    • Cognition
    • Cognitive science
    • Psychological concepts
    • Psychology
    • Behavioural sciences
    • Applied psychology
    • University and college admission
    • Psychotherapy

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