How to Manage School Admissions Stress

Learning how to manage school admissions stress is actually not stressful. Even though this content comes with the understanding that stress can be overwhelmingly straining, and thus, it has murderous tendencies towards human life.

As much as it has these scary abilities against us, there are strategies that, if duly taken up, can abate its potentials and place us well-equipped, even on a better platform to manage stress effectively.

Stress happens in different places, corners, and at various levels of human activities and affairs. There are office stress, home stress, school stress, and many more. All of these can cause mental stress, emotional stress, and financial stress which in turn devastates overall human health.

Dousing stress in every corner of life, we will say again, is not stressful particularly if you follow the following steps usually involved in how to manage school admissions stress:

Put Deadlines on Alert

Mark exactly when each application is due on your checklist or on a calendar that you’ll regularly look at. It’s all about knowing the application deadline and sticking to it. Just make sure you triple-check the deadlines before writing anything down to avoid missing one.

Prioritize Self-Reflection

Self-reflection means taking time to consider your thoughts and motives. Doing so is a good way to get a better view of why you are applying to college. Take time to reflect on your accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses.

Listen to Music

Music can reduce anxiety and lower your blood pressure. Listen to calming music to reduce stress and improve your mood.

Put on your favorite band or artist while filling out applications. This is a time to be happy and joyful about your future. Don’t be afraid to sing along!

Have a Support Group

Remember that you’re not the only one applying for college. By connecting with other high school students who are also applying to college, you can support each other and answer each other’s questions.

Avoid Social Media for a While

It’s easy to scroll endlessly and compare yourself to others, but social media can fuel anxiety, depression, and isolation. Unplug. Take breaks from social media to avoid comparing yourself to others.

Take a Break

It’s OK to take breaks when you’re applying for college. Take a day off from the college application process to focus on your mental health and well-being.

Be good to yourself. Celebrate the work you’ve done already while making time to take on the tasks you still need to complete.


Start early and pick specific times of the day or week to work on your college application. It’s unsustainable to always work on your college applications, and this scheduling system can reduce guilt when doing other things like relaxing or spending time with friends and family.

Do not Procrastination

As tempting as it may be, avoid waiting until the last minute to apply to college. Procrastination can lead to added stress and the quality of your work may suffer.

Make a checklist of the different tasks you want to accomplish on your applications. Make time for yourself to complete them a little at a time each day.

Seek Help

You’re not doing this alone – millions of people apply and successfully go to college each year. You can use them as a resource when applying for college.

Reach out to alumni from the colleges and universities to get a better understanding of what it’s like to attend.

Focus on your Goals

You are applying to college for an important reason – you want to accomplish big things in your life. Remember your long-term goals and focus on why you’re applying to college. This can help you stay motivated.

Make a Checklist

Once you have all your big tasks broken down into smaller, more doable ones, it can help to write them down.

Seeing the college application tasks all listed out leaves your brain free to think of how to do them versus keeping track of them. It also gives you the satisfaction of checking each off when you finish it.

Common Causes of School Admission Stress

The stress we face during college application process is oftentimes caused by obvious reasons which are:

Lack of Control

There is never a guarantee of how your application will be received, and that uncertainty can be overwhelming. At the end of the day, all you can do is try your best and prepare for all outcomes.

Health Concerns

Living with physical and mental health conditions that require accommodation can also add to the college admissions stress. Unfortunately, many schools are not ADA-compliant, so students with disabilities can experience a great deal of anxiety around picking a school they will be able to navigate easily.

Those with mental health conditions may have become adept at managing them at home, where things are familiar, but entering a new setting and going through a significant transition can exacerbate symptoms and cause stress, too.

Family Expectations

Sometimes, family can act as a support — other times, they can add to your stress. Some students may additionally encounter pre-set cultural and family expectations of adopting a particular career path by getting accepted to a specific college, complicating the picture.

Additional stresses might come from being the first in your family to attend college or applying to schools far from your hometown.

Language Barrier

Sometimes, a student or their parents might not speak fluent English, which can add to the stress of applying and going to colleges in English-speaking countries, like the United States.

Students with language or cultural barriers may feel stressed about their ability to keep up with language proficiency in academic courses and communicate effectively with staff and peers.


College application stress can begin even before you sit down to complete your first application. There’s stress to have a perfect academic record, hit the best scores on standardized tests, and do lots of extracurriculars.

Sometimes, it can feel like you’re competing with high school peers and students worldwide. The limited spots available for each school (and for financial aid) don’t help matters.

Financial obligations

According to U.S. News & World Reports, in the 2022 to 2023 school year, the average public college cost students $10,423, and the average private college cost students $39,723. These numbers are for tuition.

Finding and receiving opportunities to lower the cost of college is another stress in and of itself for many students, adds Parmar. Also, navigating the scholarship and loan systems can be very challenging, especially when students don’t have a knowledgeable person to walk them through it.

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