Fearless Part II: Stressful or Stress-Free? (College Apps Edition)

Balancing three classes, athletics, arts, co-curriculars, extra-curriculars, sleep, food, and personal time was (fairly) manageable before (whew!), but you’ve recently added college applications to the mix, and now you’re running on steam. How in the world are you still standing?

Look, I’ve seen the result of such an exhausting and overwhelming schedule manifest itself in stressed out, overworked 17 and 18 year olds, and it ain’t pretty! So, in this edition of the Fearless series, here are some tips on how to remain stress-free during stressful times!

Make a to-do list (with deadlines). Figure out what it is you need to do and by when. Prioritize this list and break up your commitments. Properly managing your time and responsibilities will make your tasks more feasible.

Reward yourself daily. Take time for yourself! Get enough to eat, enough to sleep, and take occasional breaks by doing what makes you happy. Brain breaks provide your brain with much-needed rest and allow you to re-focus and re-energize, so take care of yourself because you’re all you’ve got!

Be optimistic (and realistic). When faced with a multitude of tasks, adversity, and stress-inducing circumstances, approach life and all you do with a can-do attitude! The fact is, we waste more energy being stressed out, frustrated, and upset, so don’t be grumpy. Smile and be realistic about what you can (and can’t) handle.

Stay encouraged. I’ll be honest…this one is hard to stick to. Sometimes we stress over things beyond our control. A failure here, a failure there, and we start to internalize those failures. So then, we oftentimes think we’re failures ourselves. Train your mind to turn that around and into something positive. I firmly believe that when one door closes, another one opens; that what misses you wasn’t meant for you. Refrain from beating yourself up when things don’t quite go your way because (again) you’re all you’ve got!

The bottom line here is that in the midst of your school life, work life, family life, and personal life, make sure you find time for yourself, time to balance and properly manage your responsibilities, and time to live stress-free even when faced with stressful situations. Trust me when I say that whatever you’re going through, especially the college application process, is temporary. Don’t let a temporary situation permanently ruin you. It’s not worth it.

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