Limit Stress in College Process

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As I sat down in my seat to listen to an admissions information session at Cornell University, the speaker started off her presentation by describing the admission process as the “holistic process”. Immediately, I knew that applying to college would not be an easy task. My anxiety worsened when I was taking so many notes about what the speaker was saying to the point that my hand cramped. When junior year comes around, you begin to realize that you must start thinking of colleges you would like to attend once you leave high school, and it really is a stressful process. Innumerable questions arise: What colleges are good, which are bad? What SAT/ACT score do I need? What essays do I need to write? Can I afford this college or university? Does this school have the major I want to study? Is my application good enough? These questions may be overwhelming to think about, so the best option to survive the “holistic process” is to talk to other people about it. This includes your guidance counselor, parents, a teacher, or a friend you trust. Also, you can take more action to reduce the amount of stress with the college admissions process which will be briefly discussed in this article.

Breathe! Inhale. Exhale. Panicking is the worst action you can resort to while handling any stressful task, so calm yourself down because admission to college is not the end of the world. The best action you can take like mentioned earlier is to consult someone about the process because you should not undergo this alone. Others will have more experience with you, can guide you to your goals, and can check on you so that you can avoid bad decisions. Also, you can do some research on your own about which colleges interest you. Good sources include Naviance, the College Board school search, and books such as the Princeton Review’s The Best 384 Colleges. A big mistake many teens make is that they trust everything their friends and social media tell them about any college. Your best bet for finding specific college information is on their online website because everything you need to know is located on their pages. From there, you can get a feel for the college and even visit it. A good strategy for picking a school is to research the certain major you would like to apply for. For example, since I plan to major in mechanical and aerospace engineering, I have researched the college of engineering at Cornell. The reason for this is to narrow down what your student life would be like at that school. This whole process is about what interests you, not anyone else. The bottom line is that if you set your own goals and work hard on them, then you will achieve to honor of attending the college of your choice.

The words stress, anxiety, nervousness, and fear are often affiliated when choosing a college to attend because there is nothing easy about picking a school since this decision will form the foundation for the rest of your life, including your future job. The stereotype of the college process in today’s society makes it seem to be terrifying. However, if you relax and take a deep breath, it really is not intimidating. Take everything one step at a time, then before you know it, you will get into college. Even though it may be called the “holistic process” there is nothing to worry about for college admissions if you seek help, put the time in for research, and work hard towards your own goals.

Mark Tarazi ’20