Whether you are a Senior typing in your account information to log into the Common Application, or you are a parent of a younger student feeling antsy, or a Junior thinking ahead, remember this…Breathe. Well sure, actually breathe and take breaths throughout this entire process, but also take a look at the acronym below for some extra guidance and support.
B – Be yourself
R- Reach and be Realistic
E – End game
A – Attribute your success to hard work
T – Try and try again
H – Have mindfulness moments
E – Enjoy
Be yourself: This seems like an obvious one, but it is fairly easy to forget. In College essays, be yourself, in searching for the right school, be yourself, in a college admissions interview, be yourself. Colleges have unique personalities like you do. Showcase all of the wonderful, unique qualities that make up you and let your application shine…because at the end of the day, there really only is one…YOU.
Reach and be Realistic: Okay, I threw in two R’s, but they are important. Reach for the program you’re dying to get into, reach for the higher level course you’ve worked so hard to get into, reach for a new idea outside the classroom that expands your interests. Go for it….but be realistic. Set attainable goals for yourself that challenge you, but also don’t set you up for failure. Set a reach school that you’d love to go to, but add some likely schools on your list you also ACTUALLY like and would want to go.
End game: Think of the end game for when you get accepted (and trust me you will!) Create goals and timelines for the admission process. When things get tough, crazy and overloaded, review your goals and remember your end game. Once you get in, the college admissions mania dies down a bit, so keep your eyes on the finish line and equip yourself appropriately throughout the race.
Attribute your success: Attribute your success to your hard work.Your journey throughout high school has been a reflection of your efforts. Remember how hard you’ve worked and remember your accomplishments when you start thinking of college admissions. List your accomplishments throughout your college applications. If you’ve had a slip in your transcript, or a lower grade in a class, is it something you can give context to? You have the opportunity to put in the application that reflects your journey.
Try and try again: You may get frustrated, you may have not done so well in a class. What can you do? What have you tried before that worked? Missed a deadline? Get organized and ask for help. Didn’t do well on a quiz? Ask a teacher what you did wrong and spend extra time reviewing the work. Spent the afternoon on Netflix instead of college apps? Turn on your computer and get to it. Just keep trying.
Have mindfulness moments: School, extracurricular commitments, homework, college apps and oh….life. All of these things roll together into one big massive heavy ball that you’re supposed to carry around. Not okay. Take a mindfulness moment when you can. This can literally be ANYTHING that helps you tune out for a minute and rejuvenate. (playing music, hiking, bike riding, drawing, listening to music, going for a walk, Skyping your best friend, surfing the internet, writing, reading, meditating, etc.)
Enjoy: High school goes by fast. The college admission process goes by fast. Slow down. Enjoy!