At this point in the semester, most seniors are working hard on their college applications. As if the stress of this extra workload on top of homework wasn’t enough, there is an unspoken pressure coming from our classmates, parents, and friends. Like it or not, we know that people will judge us based on the college we attend. This can be a pretty scary thought. We are plagued by questions like: “Will people think I’m dumb if I only get into my safety schools?” “What if I don’t get into my early decision school that I’ve obsessed about to my friends for forever?”
If you are plagued by concerns like these, it’s time to put things in perspective.
Things to Keep in Mind
1. As soon as you leave high school, all of that social pressure will vanish! You will be in a totally new environment with people that know nothing about your academic past and college application process. Because you and all of these new people attend the same school, no one will be able to judge you based on where you chose to go to school.
2. If you work hard, you can achieve your goals no matter which college you go to. You don’t need to go to an Ivy League school to have a successful career. Although going to a more renowned college sounds more impressive, so does getting great grades at any decent school. You are in control of your own education and it will be what you make of it.
3. So what if you don’t get into your dream school? Not loving your college after completing your freshman year? You can transfer! Acceptance rates for transfers tend to be higher than acceptance rates for first-year students. The Universities of California prefer and offer scholarships to students from California community colleges.
Feeling any better?
Tips for De-stressing
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with nervous thoughts about college, sometimes it’s best to take a break.
If you need to calm down…
1. Close your eyes and listen to some calming music. I recommend Bon Iver, Jack Johnson, and Ben Howard. Trust me, your mood will totally change after several minutes of this.
2. Drink hot tea. It’s like a hug in a cup. In fact, a 2009 study by two psychologists at the City University London showed that drinking tea significantly reduces anxiety levels.
3. Take a short nap. Although you might feel like you are wasting valuable time that could have been spent doing homework, napping will actually improve your alertness and therefore your performance in school. Plus, no one wants to risk the embarrassing moment of falling asleep in class.
4. Go outside. Even taking a quick walk through your neighborhood is better than nothing. These days, most of us spend a large portion of our time cramped up indoors staring at our computer screens. But getting a breath of fresh air can be beneficial because it allows us to think more clearly. Personally, going outdoors helps me to stay grounded. For a few minutes, I escape all the worries in my head and observe the many interesting details in the world around me.
5. Get some exercise. I love to play tennis with friends or family members because it distracts me from schoolwork for a few hours. If sports aren’t your thing, go on a run or head to your local gym.
6. Watch a funny TV show. Right now, I’m into Parks and Recreation.
Laughing is good for you and it’s powerful. Some researchers believe that laughing can boost your immune system and provide pain-relief. So go ahead and giggle!