Just Say No… to Stress

By Ryan Hickey + updated on June 16th, 2010

Last week’s post provided some suggestions for high school students currently entering the summer before their senior year. Believe it or not, there are quite a few ways you can make substantial progress on the essay-writing and admissions fronts without spending your entire summer enrolled in classes, doing community service, and visiting colleges. You can check out the easy-to-follow suggestions from that post here.

Today, I’d like to supplement last week’s post with a simple message that’s probably hard for many to swallow: try not to let other people stress you out about the admissions process.

In the course of my daily duties here at EssayEdge, I read a tremendous amount of material on essay writing and the admissions process in general. And to be perfectly honest, the overarching message I see in many of those articles and postings is something along the lines of, “Do this or else you will [probably] get rejected.”  It’s actually quite depressing. Because it’s virtually impossible to tell nervous applicants what they can do to guarantee admission (the simple fact of the matter is that nobody is guaranteed admission), many writers have taken to framing their recommendations in a different way. Instead of showcasing things that can make the process easier, they present suggestions by claiming that everyone else is doing something, so you’d better be doing it too.

At EssayEdge, we don’t believe in such scare tactics. While the college admissions process is complicated, competitive, and challenging, it’s not something that should ruin other things in your life.  Like any challenge it will require thought, preparation, and hard work to succeed, but that doesn’t mean that you need to stop living a balanced life as you prepare to submit applications.

So my advice to you this week is simple: don’t let other people stress you out. Sure it’s natural to feel some stress about the coming months, but you shouldn’t let books, blogs, or friends whip you into a frenzy about the admissions process. It’s going to take time and hard work, but if you go into it with a level head and basic understanding of what needs to be done, you’ll do fine.

So check out last week’s post for some suggestions about what you can do this summer to prepare for application season this fall while still finding time to relax and socialize. As we get closer to the school year, we’ll provide more in-depth tips that will help you conquer the writing process to the best of your ability.

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Ryan Hickey

Ryan Hickey is Managing Editor of Peterson's & EssayEdge and an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants. He enjoys sharing his knowledge to aid others in achieving their educational goals and, when he gets a break, loves hiking and fly fishing with his wife and two border-collie mixes.

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