College Admissions and Student Stress


Julia Fender

College and career center wall at JHS

Julia Fender, Staff Writer

Being in the middle of the second semester has stress mounting for many students applying for college. College admissions are incredibly stressful in and of themselves, but waiting on a response from a college can be unbearable. Stress, anxiety and depression can be heightened in these months and the entire year for some seniors. 

According to the organization VeryWell Mind, research has shown that around 30% of kids aged 13-18 experience and struggle with some form of anxiety. These statistics are just in general, but these statistics can be elevated so much more with applications. It is extremely important for students to have adequate coping mechanisms and a strong support system in these difficult times. 

Parents may have more of an influence than they realize. Parental pressure can also lead to some serious consequences for their kids. According to Bay Atlantic University in Washington D.C., students that experience parental pressure are more likely to suffer from mental health issues. It is vital for students when applying for college and awaiting a response to have a strong support system in their parents. Parents can provide this by actively listening to the needs of their students. An example of this would be keeping talk of college and things associated with it to a minimum if the student is clearly stressed by it. Being supportive in choice of schools and majors is also incredibly important. It’s hard enough picking something for your future, but it is even harder when students aren’t supported in their choices. If students do receive a rejection letter, parents play a big part in the de-escalation of catastrophizing in students. According to VeryWell Mind, research has shown that students can experience actual grief in the face of rejection. Parents’ main priority during this time should be to keep an open mind and be understanding for their kids. 

Students also need to be aware of coping mechanisms and ways to alleviate some of the stress that comes with college admissions. Helpful ways to do this would be fact checking when faced with overwhelming thoughts. Things like knowing that this part of their life is temporary and will eventually be settled, realizing that they are trying their best and things can change, and realizing that things aren’t as black and white as they may seem in their choices and options available to them can greatly help students during this time. Students can aid others in supporting them by communicating needs, such as things that are helpful to hear right now and things that are not. Open communication can make things so much easier for everyone involved. 

The main component that can really help students is knowing that everything that goes into the application process is temporary. Things are constantly changing and nothing is set in stone. It is not the end of the world, and students should be kind to themselves in the face of college and everything that goes with it.