December Admissions Stress Relief

We are about to enter a stressful week in the admissions cycle. Colleges will begin to release decisions to applicants that applied in the Early Decision round. These schools tend to be quite selective and the applications are binding. I find that anxiety levels rise in high school this time of year. It can be nerve wracking to see peers receive acceptance letters when you are still working on applications or finalizing lists. When you see friends accepted in the early round and they know exactly where they are going next August, it can feel like everyone else is all set and you are not. If you applied in the early round and you did not get the answer you were hoping for, it can be devastating. This devastation can reach an entirely different level if people around you are receiving acceptance letters. So be aware that we are entering a new phase of the admissions process that may bring heightened emotions.

I wrote this piece below for the very first group of kids that I ever advised. Please take it to heart and use it to help alleviate stress and enjoy your senior year!


As early application results come in, I have noticed a heightened state among college bound seniors as they wait for results from the schools where they applied. I searched my archives of articles to find something that might help students take stock and maintain perspective, but none of the articles said what I wanted to say, so here goes. Keep your eye on your own ball. Do not pay attention to the admissions chatter. Think about what you are looking for in a college and what you want your life to look like after the 45 months that you will spend at college. Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a student as well as how you learn best. Continue to explore areas of study and career paths that interest you. Make a list of things you would like to accomplish in college like studying abroad or completing an internship. Explore the websites of ALL the colleges where you are applying and see if anything jumps out at you. College admissions is just the beginning. The kids that “win” at the college game (if there even is such a thing) are the students that arrive on campus with a sense of purpose, use their four years well and graduate on time. In exactly 4 1/2 months you will be submitting a deposit to the lucky school that gets to have you for the next four years. Use this time to ponder what you want in a college so that when your choices are on the table you have a deeper sense of what you want in a school.

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