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7-Step Guide to Overcoming College Application Stress

Applying to college can be quite a stressful process for many. Between the essay prompts, documents, and deadlines, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by it all. At SEU, we want to make the application process as stress-free as possible! Here are our top tips on how to manage college application stress.

Plan Ahead 

It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and get an early start. This gives you time to truly think about your goals, motivations, and what you’re looking for in your college experience. Start by asking yourself things like what your academic and professional goals are, what are some non-negotiables for your college experience, how far away from home are you willing to go, and what is an ideal price range for tuition? When you start considering these things early on, you can make the process that much easier. 

Schedule a Visit

Scheduling a visit to campus is also a great way to feel connected to the process, and can help solidify any decisions you will make. A brochure or website can only show you so much. By touring a campus, you can get an inside look into what it is like to be a student at that college, and even get answers to questions through a one-on-one experience with admission counselors, faculty, staff, and current students that you would not have been able to get without visiting the campus.  You can schedule a visit to SEU here!

Stay Organized 

College applications, and all their components, often come with a lot of information to keep track of. It is important that you are on top of deadlines and the requirements for each application, but if you try to file all of this information in your head, it can get confusing and lead to stress. A great way to stay organized is by creating a folder that will hold things like college brochures, important information (like what you’ll need for filling out the FAFSA), a list of contacts, account logins you’ll need to refer to often, etc. It’s also a good idea to set reminders in your Google or Apple calendar so that you don’t miss an important deadline.

Ask for Help 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s important to have people who can support you during this process. This can look like confiding in a trusted adult who has been in your shoes and knows what the college application process is like, or even a close friend who is going through this process as well. Your school guidance counselor or college/career counselor can also be a great source of information. Don’t forget, our team of enrollment counselors here at SEU are always available to help! Having a good support system can greatly minimize stress, and you’ll be glad you asked for help.

Explore Degree Options 

When applying to college, you’ll want to make sure that the college you’re checking out offers programs you are passionate about. At SEU, we offer more than 100 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. You might already know what career field you want to pursue, or you might need a little more time to figure it out. If you are unsure about what you want to study, don’t worry! Some people don’t settle on a specific field until after their first semester (sometimes even later), so don’t let this scare you during the application process. SEU also has plenty of resources like our Career Services office, university catalog and academic advising.

Know Your Limits and Be True to Yourself

If at any time during the application process you start to feel overwhelmed, it is completely okay to just take a step back and breathe. It is important to know your limitations and when something is becoming more than you can handle at a certain point in time. Clearing your mind, whether that be by going for a walk or doing something that brings you joy, will help you come back to that application with a fresh perspective.  It is also important to know your goals and motivations, and pursue the things that you are passionate about. Not everyone’s application process will look the same, and everyone moves at a different pace. So if you start to feel overwhelmed and anxious, remember that your application journey is your own, and we’re here to provide you with all the resources you’ll need!

Pray About It

New chapters in your life can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming, but no matter what, remember to give it all to God. Praying throughout the process will not only help you through, it will help you discern where God is calling you. 

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By Mia Golding, Student Writer 

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