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Quick tips for staying calm during the college application process

Posted By Ned Jones | October 10, 2014

Knee deep in college applications and feeling slightly overwhelmed? Take a breath, and read on. We asked authors, consultants and others for their best tip (or reminder) for high school students when it comes to staying afloat while applying to colleges. Here’s what they said… 

“Avoid ‘too many cooks.’ Want to know the quickest way to an
 application-induced breakdown? Share your work with everyone, then look for advice on the Internet. Each person will have opinions and 
many will conflict. And in the case of the 
Internet, a lot of the advice will be plain old wrong. All of that is not
 only going to make you second-guess yourself, but it's also
 going to take you and your voice out of
 your work. And that’s what the adcom wants to see! So instead, if you need 
feedback and outsider perspectives, choose one or two people that you 
trust. And that's it. That'll let you get some advice, without
 sending you totally sideways.” Lauren Herskovic, Chief Operating Officer at Admissionado

“I insist my clients maintain balance in their life and encourage them to create a schedule that includes extracurricular activities, school assignments/due dates, college applications, perhaps job, and even social and/or family engagements. I want students to understand that they have more activities than their college applications, so they do not have to focus solely on them and stress out." Thomas J. Jaworski, independent education consultant and founder of Quest College Consulting

“My biggest piece of advice is to find a neutral non-parent adult who has 
time to listen to you think through your personal statement. Parents often want so badly for you to
 be successful that they may, unintentionally, over-craft your statement. You will feel much calmer if
 you know you have a neutral perspective to help you sift through the
 thoughts racing through your head as you start to write.” Kate McKeon, CEO of Prepwise, an educational consultancy

“You worked so hard in school up to this point and it is okay to rest on your laurels. You got your essay in on time along with your other paperwork, and you paid the application fee. Relax now, focus on the future and remember that each school you applied to has its plus and minus column—so do not worry. Let the cards fall where they may.”  Michael Provitera, author of Mastering Self-Motivation

"Remember this: the application gets in, not you. Even if you don't get in, it doesn't mean you are a bad or flawed person. The college application only captures a small portion of what makes you who you are." – Brian Stewart, author of Barron's new ACT guide and president of BWS Education Consulting

“Colleges aren't asking 17-year-olds to do anything 17-year-olds are not 
capable of doing. Just arm yourself with information and relax. It's like
 any large project; you just need to break it down into smaller manageable
 parts. You will get in—so stop worrying, and take the first step by starting to research colleges.”  – Christine VanDeVelde, coauthor of College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

What other advice would you be interested in hearing from our admissions team? Email us at admissions@siena.edu.

TOPICS: Admissions Info & Advice

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