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Enjoy the College Admissions Process. Seriously.

One of the most important parts of my job as a professional college counselor has to do with managing stress. Not my stress—although, truth be told, I fret and agonize over admissions minutiae right alongside my clients—but the sometimes overwhelming stress felt by my students, who often feel as if their entire future depends on the arbitrary decision of some nameless, faceless admissions officer.

I get this: it can be difficult to put yourself out there in such a big way, and to expose yourself to scrutiny and judgment and the possibility of rejection. But that’s not what’s really happening when you apply to college. Sure, you’re putting yourself out there a bit, but what’s really happening is that you’re exploring your future, poking and prodding, seeing which doors will open when you push them—and which won’t—and figuring out what the next stage of your life will hold.

So—as crazy as it sounds—try to enjoy the process. You can’t know what the future holds, and you only have a certain amount of control over it. Control those things you can—your performance, your grades, your college essays, and the timely submission of your applications, among other things—and then find a way to let go. Find that inner “happy place” that enables you to ignore the chaos that, I promise, will erupt around you as decisions start rolling in. Find that state of mind that allows you to accept those decisions and move on to the next stage of your life: your college years, a time you will always treasure, regardless of which school you end up attending.

I wish you luck!


- Cassie Nichols

  CEO, College Specific, LLC