college counselor with students

Reduce the Stress of the College Admissions Process

Picture the famous painting by Edvard Munch known as “The Scream”. No student should have to go through high school feeling like that guy. Although there’s serious work to be done, high school should also be a time of joy in a young person’s life.

The process of gaining admission to a top-tier college is inherently stressful. This will remain true as long as there are far more applicants than the incoming freshman classes of elite schools can accommodate and as long as most of the applicants are extremely well qualified. Both conditions are expected to become even more acute in the years ahead.

This post discusses how to reduce stress but not how to eliminate it. Any intensely competitive endeavor at which only a small majority can succeed is bound to cause anxiety that may affect a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. However, a student can take steps to limit and manage the sturm und drang of college admissions.

Some observers of the admissions process want Ivy League and other elite institutions to make stress just disappear. New York Times op-ed columnist and self- proclaimed college admissions expert Frank Bruni concludes his January 20th piece on the following note:

“They’re [elite colleges] realizing that many kids admitted into top schools are emotional wrecks or slavish adherents to soulless scripts that forbid the exploration of genuine passions. And they’re acknowledging the extent to which the admissions process has contributed to this.”

Over-dramatization of stress may attract reader eyeballs but it’s potentially harmful misinformation. A little research reveals that stress can be mitigated through knowledge and a strategic plan.

Now, please, a drum roll as we make the following self-serving statement… The best ways to minimize the stress of college admissions is to hire an IvySelect college admissions consultant. To maintain stress at an even lower level — get an early start on the admissions process.

The rationale behind this claim is that, because we tell you what to expect and make sure that you’re always prepared, we eliminate surprises. It’s the unpleasant surprises that will sap your optimism and set you back emotionally. And, although we plan for the inevitability of some disappointments, we guide your campaign for admission to an elite institution so that it will succeed. Nothing reduces stress more than the confidence that our services impart in the outcome.

IvySelect develops a strategic plan for you at the start of our engagement. It’s based on the personal profile that we construct after discussions with you about your goals, interests, accomplishments, talents, and preferences. The very existence of this detailed plan alleviates much of the pressure on you as you move forward. If your initial plan turns out to be too demanding or if you find you can do more, we help review your commitments and opportunities and amend the plan accordingly.

Based on our years of experience with students who have gained