The college admissions process can be a hectic time. Between starting your junior year of high school, taking a slew of new classes, and navigating your college applications, when are you supposed to take care of yourself?
The good news is that you don’t have to stay up until 2AM, struggling to stay alert enough to write the latest draft of your college application essay after a long night of homework. Working harder isn’t the answer. You can achieve balance and take care of your emotional and physical needs through out this time. Here are a few tips to relieve the stress.
Shedules are your new best friends. To stay focused and keep track of all your responsibilities, write a master to-do list. Think about your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks (like specific homework assignments, projects, and test prep), and add them to your list of college application deadlines. Your goal is to do your assignments as efficiently as possible – knock them out so you can move on. Don’t spend all night studying, either – decide on a reasonable time limit and set a timer.
You may want to keep separate schedules for school, college apps, and social activities, or one master schedule, but in either case don’t schedule all your time! It’s nice to have some free time to daydream, take a spontaneous weekend trip, listen to music, and watch movies.
Do fun, cool thinkgs that interest you. Have fun. Seriously – that’s an order! What do you love to do outside of school? What experiences have you always wanted to try but were afraid of in the past?
Step outside your comfort zone. Play the drums with your band for a huge audience, organize a charity event, or climb a mountain. Besides having fun and getting a break from doing schoolwork, you’ll have some pretty awesome topics to write about in your college application essays!
Keep Calm and Carry On. All your friends may be freaking out. Your teachers and counselors could be pressuring you. Your parents might stress you out. Don’t panic! Patience and perseverance can help carry you through the rollercoaster that is senior fall.
Remind yourself that this time in your life is not permanent. Graduation can be only a few months away. Having a positive attitude and showing gratitude for the opportunity to attend college will help you. You might even look back fondly on the entire process; as Aeneas says to his crew after enduring a terrible storm in Virgil’s Aeneid: “Perhaps, one day, remembering even these things will bring pleasure.”
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