How to Relax During the College Admission Season

October 09, 2017

Let’s be honest. You can’t really relax during the college admissions season, but there are a few things that can help. Here are

7 Tips to Manage Stress During College Application Season

You are bound to be (and have every right to be) a stress ball for 7 months of your senior year. There’s standardized testing, senior year coursework, application essays, college interviews, scholarship applications and the list goes on. Truthfully, you probably won’t get a true sense of relief until you open your first acceptance letter.

Having said that, there are ways to manage your stress during the application season so you don’t go completely crazy.

1. Mindful meditation

The point of mindful meditation is to focus on the present moment. Meditation sessions doesn’t have to be long, especially if you’re just giving it a try to help you destress! Take 10 minutes and focus your attention on the things that are happening right now. Notice and be present in your body. How fast are you breathing? What do you hear? What do you feel? Just observe. Try using Calm or Headspace to get started!

2. Draw, paint, do something creative

You don’t have to be good at art for you to enjoy it. Grab a sketchbook and start doodling. Let your mind roam, or just sketch what is sitting in front of you. Alternatively, you can also pick up a coloring book! It seems childish, but there are also more intricate coloring books for adults you can buy. The colors can help you can focus on something other than college applications just for a little while and give your mind a break.

3. Read, for leisure

Books take us to new places. If you enjoy reading, don’t let that go. Take time out of your week to enjoy a book. Let the words of JK Rowling take you to the wizarding world, or let Jane Austen bring you back to 18th Century England.

4. Soak in a warm bath

There’s nothing a long bubble bath won’t cure. Get some bath salts or bath bombs and soak in a warm bath. The aroma will help you relax and relieve stress mentally, and the warm bath will relax your body physically. There’s definite science behind baths helping you slow down your heartbeat and decrease stress-inducing chemicals in your body.

5. Journal

Tough sell, we know. Why write more when you’re already writing for homework and for college applications? Journaling is different. Try to write about your feelings or your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be thought-provoking or grammatically correct. A journal is a safe space for you to just jot down what you’re thinking and feeling. Sometimes, writing down the running commentary in our minds can help us recognize that they don’t represent objective truths and are just manifested worries. It’s a good way to gain some perspective in the crazy process of college admissions. 

6. Work out

Workouts are always a good way to help relieve stress. Go to the gym or go for a run. Give yourself the chance to sweat all the stress out of your body and get the endorphins pumping. Instead of focusing on whatever work you still have to do, just think about completing your next mile or finishing your set. Endorphins from exercise literally make you happier. The bonus is that by catering to your physical health, you’re also giving yourself the mental space you need away from your apps.

7. Indulge in a vent session

Last but not least, talk to your family about what’s stressing you out. Your family most likely wants to be there to support you through the process but they often don’t know how to do so productively or without overwhelming you. Spend some quality time with your family and show them you value their support, but make sure to set ground rules about what you can talk about, such as no talking about school grades or homework, what you want to study, or where you want to apply. Vent about your frustrations with no judgment.

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View the app files and essays of accepted students.

​We hope these tips help with managing the stress that comes with college applications. If we can make it any easier, remember that AdmitSee’s platform can help you with your applications! Our premium subscriptions give you access to successful college application files to help you get into your dream school.

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


Browse Successful Application Files

Vanderbilt ‘20

Accepted to Florida, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory, UPenn, Miami, Northeastern, UVA, UNC, Georgetown, Rice

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt and art enthusiast
UNC ‘18

Accepted to Yale, UPenn, Davidson, UNC, UMich, Emory, Northwestern, Wake Forest, UVA, UKentucky, William & Mary, Miami OH, Vanderbilt

Passionate about education from the great state of Kentucky.
Williams ‘20

Accepted to Williams, Claremont (CMC), Amherst, Swarthmore, Pitzer, Northwestern, Tufts, WashU, Grinnell, Rice, Emory, LMU

Hey! I’m an Econ & Bio major / transfer who’s passionate about STEM, social issues, and design. I learned a lot from navigating this hectic process twice, and I’m excited to help!
Barnard ‘18

Accepted to Barnard

Barnard '18 | My passions lie in education, psychology, and human rights, all from the lens of an African Studies major. My transcript and application were far from conventional, but neither am I.

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