How to Survive College Application Season Stress

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

by Jeff Peters

There’s no question that applying to college is stressful; students stress about which colleges to apply to, how to best complete the many college applications and essays, and how many acceptances will be received when the process is done.

But you already have a lot of stress just being a high-school student! During your high school years, students have to race against time to keep on top of all classroom subjects. You also have to balance any sports and extra-curricular activities while studying. In this whole hectic set of activities, students often have to sacrifice additional time to spend with their friends and family. A proper eight-hour sleep is almost always a victim of this busy school life — which can raise stress levels even higher.

Why do students go through all these stressful activities? Attending a college can take a person one step closer to the dream of a better life. But a typical college application process is a cumbersome — and stressful — one for many students.

Furthermore, the rising tuition fees, falling application acceptance rates among universities, and the fear of not getting a job in present market conditions make the college application process an even more highly stressful activity for some students.

Here are Few Tips that will Help High School Students Survive the Stress of College Application Process.

Be Open to More Than One College

If you do not get an acceptance letter from a college you wanted to attend, it will obviously lead to disappointment. But the good news is that there are always other college choices available. There is no such thing as a perfect college.

You can reduce your stress level by being open to more than one college. In fact, every college-bound student must find the best-fit colleges and universities using your own set of requirements and criteria.

Remember to never compare your success or failure to others, as everyone is different with their own specific skill sets, academic record, and interests.

Don’t Make College Admission a Constant Topic of Conversation

The senior year in high school has many other aspects other than college admissions — such as final exams, proms, or sports events.

Take a break from the stress of worrying about your college admissions applications and decisions by making the most of those final days in school. Make your senior year one to remember… because you can never go back to school after this period.

Make a Habit of Exercise and Physical Activity

One great way to wash away some of the stress of college admissions is through physical activity.

Consider adding some exercise to your daily routine — but start easy and check with a doctor first. Some low-impact, but high stress-relieving activities include walking, swimming, yoga… and even horseback riding.

The idea is that these activities ease out the tension and give you a sense of refreshment, helping get you ready to face another stressful day at school.

Stay Connected With Family and Friends

Competition is an ugly beast, but whatever the case may be, your family and friends are always there to share your concerns and listen to your feelings. Being connected to family and friends helps in overcoming the burden of loneliness that comes with a stressful day at school and the college application process.

Family and friends also bring a sense of security and can help boost your confidence in achieving your dreams. Besides, the college application period coincides with the holidays, so one should utilize this opportunity to bond with family and friends.

Take Stress-Free Breaks

Even though your time is limited, make time for activities you enjoy and that will help take your mind off all your stress — even if only temporarily.

Consider working on a hobby, listening to music, watching a favorite movie, playing a video game, and/or attending a sporting event.

Final Thoughts on How to Survive College Application Stress

As the saying goes, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.” (Editor’s Note: Attributed to Brazilian writer Paolo Coelho and popularized by singer John Lennon.)

All you can do is your best. As long as you try your best in writing and completing all your college applications, then you should be satisfied.

Finally, remember to celebrate after you’ve finished your college applications — reward yourself for a job well-done… a final way to blow off some of that stress!

Key College Admissions and College Applications Resources


    • College Planning Resources for College-Bound Teens. You’ll find the key college-planning resources you need to master… for college choice, college majors/minors, financial aid issues, college applications, and everything else college-related!.

Key Articles:


Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.


About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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