If you’re reading this, college is probably on your mind. Of course it is, given the years you’ve spent listening to teachers, parents, and friends talk (and stress) about how you have to prepare. If you feel like you’re just about to lose your mind from the pressure or like you’re totally going to fail in the process, remember these 5 things.
1. You WILL get into college. There are literally thousands of colleges you can attend. Anyone who wants to go to college CAN, as long as they are open to the possibilities and apply to a variety of schools, including actual “safeties” (schools that you and your college admissions counselor are confident you’ll get into).
2. You will get into a GREAT college. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of competition and prestige often associated getting into the college of your dreams (or, let’s be honest, everyone else’s dreams). Maybe everyone you know is determined to get into the same state school. Maybe you feel like you’re competing against the world to get into an exclusive Ivy. Maybe you will get into your top choice, but it’s also possible you won’t. This doesn’t mean you can’t go to a great college.
Research a variety of schools you qualify to attend, and chances are you’ll see that there are tons of awesome places out there. Often, the ones interested in you are the places you’ll be happiest. And, knowing that you have a fantastic backup plan can make you feel way more relaxed about the admissions process on the whole. “All or nothing” thinking helps no one when it comes to applying to college.
3. You will be able to pay for college. Yes, college can be expensive. And, if you’ve been following the news and hearing about the “college debt crisis,” the thought of coming up with thousands of dollars every year can be frightening. Fortunately, resources exist to help you figure out how to get it done. You can choose to go to a less expensive school or to a school offering you generous scholarship aid. You may have to apply for scholarships and grants, get a job on campus, or even get creative with a part-time arrangement, so that you can work and pay your way to your degree. But, if it’s an important goal for you, you can likely get to graduation without piles of overwhelming debt.
4. You will be able to survive college. High school may be a breeze for you, and the unknowns of college can make you wonder if you’re cut out to “go it alone.” Teachers love to talk about how they are “preparing you for college,” about how intense projects and tests are just giving you “a taste” of what you’ll encounter after high school graduation. Parents say that you’re going to need to “learn to take care of yourself.” Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (head in hands).
Remember, colleges accept students they think will not only survive, but thrive on their campuses. Colleges are set up to teach you and help you graduate. When you get to college, you are definitely not alone. If you have trouble on campus, you can always turn to an older student, teaching assistant, professor, dean, advisor, or even health services. If you reach out for help, someone will be there to listen and pull you through. And you can always call home and FaceTime with friends.
If you do find yourself truly unhappy in college, you can take time off or transfer. If you need to regroup or change your scenery, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed at life — it can be the road to a whole new beginning.
5. You have A LOT to look forward to. After the stress, work, and anxious waiting is over, your college days will arrive. The academics, extra-curricular activities, and social opportunities will expand your mind and fill your life in positive ways you can’t even imagine. So, GET EXCITED!
For most people, the college admissions process is crazy stressful (experts agree). But with the right mindset and a flexible approach, you will be successful.
*Do you have tips for managing college admissions stress? Write us at Hello@ShimmerTeen.com.