As exciting as it is to begin considering the future, the college-search process can still be a bit stressful. Even with the many high points, you may experience a few overwhelming moments with the number of options you have and the decisions you have been—and will be— making. Know that all of this is normal! We understand that this process is neither the easiest nor the simplest, so here are a few tips for thriving through it:
1.Know your role.
In this process, there will be a number of things that will be out of your control. You may have some say in which schools you visit, but maybe not how many. You may be able to control who writes your letters of recommendation for your application, but you won’t be able to completely control what they say. Focusing on what you can control is going to be incredibly important. Make sure you are trying your best to accomplish things in a timely manner. Keep up with your schoolwork. Focus on what you’re passionate about. Learn to take really good care of yourself, both during and after this time. These are all pieces that are just as crucial to the process as the other parts that may or may not be in someone else’s hands.
2. Know yourself.
You don’t actually have to know yourself entirely, because… Well, who does? Understand that we aren’t expecting you to know exactly who you are and exactly where you would like to be. However, it’s important to stay true to yourself throughout this entire process. Nobody knows your passions, your perspective, and your voice as you do, and that is your power! You are unique; there is nobody like you, and you should feel empowered to use that to your advantage. We want to get to know you through every bit you share with us.
3. Know that everything will be okay.
During the application process, you have the opportunity to create a list of institutions that do the best job of meeting your wants and needs. In the best-possible scenario, you will get lots of good news following your application submissions, and you’ll be able to celebrate all the hard work you have put in for that exact outcome. However, an understanding that no matter what happens in this process, everything will work out, is key. Though we recognize that it may not feel the best, not getting into every school you apply to will never be the end of the world. There are so many schools that can serve your needs and foster your interests and passions in ways you may not have explored yet.
All that said, remember that the grass will always be greener where you water it; so, as long as you approach wherever you decide to land with a positive outlook and a constant desire to learn and grow, you can never go wrong.
Good luck, best wishes, and let the fun begin!