Dec 052011

Beating College Admissions Stress

Note:  This is  part 6 of the transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College and it’s about your Beating College Admissions Stress.

For the previous segment: High School Profile.  Your high school profile tells a lot about your school and how it compares to other high schools.

What can I do to ease some of the stress surrounding the college admissions process?

When I talked to students a lot and then I say, “Tell me the schools that you are looking at.” And they ran a lot of 5 schools. Any of those schools, education is going to be superb.

college admissions stressWe are so fortunate in the United States to have the top higher education in the world. So the student will say,

“Here are my 5 choices and I feel that if I pick the wrong one -”

First of all, educationally, you can’t go wrong at any of them.

Second, extracurricularly, prestige-wise, you can’t go wrong at any of them.

And that brings us back to the fit – the ability to say, where do I look like I resonate, I feel like I could add to that community and be an active citizen is the critical piece.

What ends up happening though and is one thing that I help to reduce the stress is that I tell students; don’t make it a public discourse of the 29 schools that you are looking at.  Because all of a sudden if you are not admitted, you choose not to go there, you have everybody in what I call admissions cheap seats doing second guessing. It’s your life, it’s your choice. And so I find students.

College Admissions Stress Reduction Tip: Don’t tell the world about every college you are applying to.

And sometimes, parents in most cases, more parents – it becomes a reflection of the parent, the reflection of how I’ll be perceived at the Bridge Club, the Country Club, my business partners, my colleagues at work, where my child goes, and what we need to make sure we do is that you find the best fit so you will be successful. And sometimes if it becomes – I’m applying and they rattle off, all of these schools, then you don’t get in, then you feel embarrassed, you shouldn’t be embarrassed.

Part of this is getting out and trying where you see the fit. And so sometimes I say students should contain it a little more. The other thing is – my experience is this for what it’s worth. If a student has a certain SAT and they tell you, in most cases, it’s 50 points less.

Everybody, you know publicly wants to say, you know they never really wanted – you know the test score is one measure, one day for a handful of hours. We need it for a national norming, the ability to look for students from different school districts and corporations and high schools but that also becomes a stress.

That’s not a competition on who can get the best test score. It’s just simply not. That’s one variable but we tend to get caught up with who we are as a human and a number. Would we like the number to be higher? You bet. But that does not take away who you are as a unique, contributing individual to your family and to your community.

And if you can learn to separate that if I’m denied, it’s not denied because Dean Christianson is a bad person. He’s denied because the fit didn’t appear to be there and all the variables. Very different. And if it’s to internalize, it’s become very stressful and if you know the real concern I have is it may become very serious with some students right to the point of suicide or pre-suicide or attempt. I mean it’s very serious that you’ve got to be able to disassociate your self-esteem with the ones that were admitted.

The next article is about getting Financial Aid for College if your parents have good jobs.

Beating College Admissions Stress is important because you will get into college and stressing out doesn’t really help anything.

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