|By Curlinterrupted (Curlinterrupted) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:15 pm: Edit|
As we all know, this time of year is EXTREMELY stressful for high school seniors. I know I'm freaking out.
My question to those of you who have "Survived" the admissions process, how did you deal? What kept you from pulling your hair out or having a nervous breakdown?
|By Reveler (Reveler) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:25 pm: Edit|
stay headstrong, strive for your goals, turn a setback into a success. You will face MUCH worst times in your life then college admissions. Picture this working 13 hours a day. Pretty stressful if you ask me and you could very well be doing that depending on the path you take. It is stressful but the only thing you can do is try your best at everything you do.
Turn a rejection into a lifelong path of success and dreams turned into reality. An easy way to make the best out of any given situation.
|By Ellemenope (Ellemenope) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit|
I had to keep reminding my D that this stressful application time would come to an end--December 31st at the latest!
Also reminded her that in a long footrace (of which the whole college prep process reminded me, starting from freshman year in high school), it's important to kick at the end, not give up when the finish line is in sight. She's a runner, so the analogy meant a lot for her. It helped her keep her focus and her spirits up.
|By Chocoman (Chocoman) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:58 am: Edit|
I don't really see it as stressful. I work on applications during study halls and lunch. I work on essays during freetime after school.
|By Clig (Clig) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:21 am: Edit|
You need friends. Good ones.
|By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 10:16 am: Edit|
And get as much sleep as you possibly can squeeze in. Rest = sanity.
Finally, remember that while this seems like a big deal now, no one has ever vanished in a puff of smoke because they didn't get into a particular school. You will survive this and by this time next year you'll be wondering what all the fuss was about. Best of luck!
|By Geniusash (Geniusash) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 12:26 pm: Edit|
Remember that you don't have to do everything. If you get a B in a class or can't donate your extra time to church/sports/whatever don't worry. In the end, you'll find a place that is good for you.
|By Selcouth1 (Selcouth1) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 10:40 pm: Edit|
bleh. i am EXTREMELY stressed out this year. application due next week (school wants it by 10/15) and i havent even started my application or essays, and have only 1 of 3 required recommendations asked for. totally stressing out.
|By Mikemac (Mikemac) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit|
I think their are 4 things going on that combine to make it so stressful: a weak plan for choosing, magnifying the importance of what college you get into, the feeling of being judged, and the break with childhood.
First off, up until now most things you do have been decided for you or carefully structured. You don't have all that much choice over classes, what city to live in, etc. And in classes instead of saying "learn calculus by the end of the year" it is broken down into small steps (eg. "read pages 14-19 and then answer the odd-number questions). Breaking big tasks down into small steps IS the right way to go, but up till now its always been done for you. Now in essence you're told "go pick a college" and given little guidance in how to do so; furthermore, much of the advice you DO get is contradictory.
There are plenty of good books out there on how to choose a college. Any of the books by Loren Pope are a good starting place. But what you need is a plan, which is roughly learn about the different types of colleges out there (rural, urban, LAC, large U, etc), visit examples if possible and see what type feels right for you, concentrate on finding schools that are a match for you and safeties you'd be happy at, throw a few reaches in for spice (and consider ED at one of them). Breaking it down into small steps and starting in time is the key. It's hurrying to make big decisions based on vague criteria that you haven't thought much about, having also failed to gather much info on whats out there, that is a recipe for stress. So almost no matter where you are in the process today, reading some of the books about admission will help clarify where to go from here.
Second, college IS important but many kids act as if getting into the "right" college is the single turning point of their life. It's not. Getting into a top college won't guarantee success, nor will attending a less prestigious college inevitably lead to failure or poor job prospects. What you do IN college is going to be more important than the name on the diploma. If you are active and involved, and especially if you get internships, you will have good career prospects coming out and you'll have an idea of where you want to start. Imagining that if you can only get into a top school that door will be open for you the rest of your life is unrealistic. There are many decisions and turning points ahead in your life, the choice of college is but one of many.
Third is the sense of being judged. Schools have been bastions of "self-esteem" for years, so many kids have never been told their work isn't up to snuff. As a consequence they've had little opportunity to develop resilience and an ability to handle direct criticism. They are heaped with praise, which is why you see kids apply to elite colleges that seemingly stand little chance and yet convinced they will get in. Your parents are (hopefully) supportive and loving. This happy era slams to a close with the adcoms. They are going to flat out tell people they preferred someone else, the ones they admitted. At some schools, 70% or more of the applicants will get this depressing message. Nobody looks forward to the prospect of rejection, especially one so public since your friends know where you applied. The key here it to start to make an honest appraisal of where you stand relative to others, and apply to colleges that are a fit for what you've done so far. If you aren't satisified with where you are today you have a whole lifetime in front of you to do more!
The last source of stress is that college signifies an end of an era. Up until now most kids lived at home and had things provided for them. The real choices you could make were few. All of a sudden all the burdens of adulthood are seemingly thrust on your shoulders; where to live, how to spend your time, what you want for your future. It can seem overwhelming, and applying for college conjures up (at least subconsciously) the change that is coming. The good news is that college provides a gentle bridge into that future. If you start in the dorms the housing and food question is taken care of. You can experiment with how to spend your time, and if you are hungover and blow a midterm thats just one test in one class, not getting fired and ending up on the street. You don't need to know the day you arrive what career you want and so on, you have time to figure it all out. So rather than having adulthood dropped onto you all at once, you gradually take on more and more of the weight over 4 years.
|By Bettina (Bettina) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit|
Why are you freaking out? What is so stressful? Choosing your list of schools or preparing app's? If you start your essays now, you should have plenty of time. Don't save everything until the last minute. And don't waste your energy mindlessly stressing. This should be a fun process--don't take it so seriously.
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