The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
If anyone is familiar with the college application process, you would know that this is an overwhelming time of year. I’ve found myself getting sick to my stomach just thinking about colleges. It feels like the most important decision of your life, when in reality it isn’t. Here are some tips that have helped me cope with anxiety throughout this process.
College is four years of your life. Imagine your life as a timeline, college is only a sliver. While your college decision is important, it is not the single factor that will determine your future.
I’ve found myself stressing about the idea of “perfect fit.” Acknowledge that there are multiple universities where you can be happy. Instead of having the “I need to get into this school or else I’ll hate my college experience” mindset, have the “No matter where I go, I will find a way to be happy.”
Focus on You
Don’t make your decisions based off of your classmates. Your best friend could dislike your dream school and that’s totally ok. You might dislike the school that your parents really want you to go to. Understand that this process is for you, be confident in your decisions.
Talk about Money with Your Parents Early On
Understand what your constraints are so this doesn’t become a stress factor last minute. Also recognize that almost all schools offer financial aid. Use net price calculators for each school to get an idea of what your expected family contribution would be at a school. Most schools will charge you much less than the raw price listed for the school on google.
Be Mindful of Social Media Consumption
YouTube videos such as “Reacting to my decision letters from universities” can be fun to watch but can easily heighten anxiety surrounding universities. Limit intake of media that has a harmful impact on your anxiety.
Make an Excel Sheet with Deadlines
With everything neatly laid out, you will feel in control.
Ask for Advice
If you’re interested in a school, seek to set up a time with a current student to talk with them. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out to counselors or admissions officers. This sounds cliché, but it’s important. You don’t need to feel alone through this process, there are people whose careers are to help students with this process.
Top school or not, you will end up where you’re supposed to be! Be excited about this next step in your life!
What advice do you have from your experience? For those who who have children who are about to or are going through the college application process, what have you talked to your child about about the process?