Most teenagers have a lot of stress that shows through in
their daily lives. This is particularly true for kids in high school,
especially as the time comes to apply for college. Am I doing
enough? Did I take enough AP classes? Will I be able to get a
scholarship? How does my essay look? Is my SAT score high
enough? Juniors and Seniors in high school are under an
unreal amount of pressure to get “the perfect score” that will
help get them into the school of their dreams. Sometimes, the
stress of college applications and standardized tests can make
teens angry, since they are so overwhelmed with what they
have to do that they lash out at anyone who so much as moves
something in their room. Other times, they may panic and are
not able to focus. When this panic ensues, the teen may become
frantic, and try so hard to get something right that they cloud
their own vision. And yet still, there may be a scenario where
someone will just say forget it, and not want to give the test or
applications any mind until they absolutely have to so as to
avoid being stressed out.
Everyone is different, and how a teen handles stress varies.
However, there are ways to help with your teens’ stress levels.
For one, if they are aware of what they need to get done, constant
reminders will only add to their stress. You need to be willing to
trust them to get it done. Another smart idea is to help them
out in any way you can – or any way they let you. Help with
brainstorming and coming up with topic ideas, and even help
them structure their resume. This will all help them get a good
foundation for what they have to do, but be careful, don’t do too
much or else then it becomes an application of how you want to
present them instead of how they want to present themselves.
A college application is a junior or senior’s chance to take
everything that they have been doing through high school and
organize into one place. Once they have everything together, they
get to hand it to a college representative, and pretty much say
“this is every reason why I feel I should be here, at this college.”
It is a huge accomplishment, and how they perceive that accom-
plishment may be different from the person they sit next to in
math class, and that’s ok. Just be willing to help them with
whatever they need, and trust that they will be able to work
hard to get there.
Best of Luck to all applicants (and parents), stay stress free.