Surviving--and Thriving--Your Senior Year (for teens) (page 2)

By — National Association for College Admission Counseling
Updated on Mar 13, 2009

Adjust Your Attitude

The college search and admission process itself can be stressful, let alone combining it with the busy schedule of senior year. You can't control what colleges will accept you, but you can control your attitude toward college admission.

Despite what others may tell you, you could be happy and successful at any number of colleges. So don't put pressure on yourself to find that one perfect college. Instead, set a goal of choosing a group of colleges that have the characteristics you want. There is no need to decide on a first-choice college right now, unless one college just stands out.

Maybe your worries aren't about choosing a college, but about whether colleges will choose you. Even though you hear a lot about how difficult getting into college is, there are plenty of colleges that would welcome you with open arms.

"The college market is not really tight," says Robert Massa, vice president for enrollment and student life at Dickinson College (PA). "Only about 5 percent of the 2,400 four-year colleges in this country admit fewer than half of those who apply. There IS a place for you."

Remember, the goal of college admission is to find a college that fits your personal goals, values and personality. It is not a competition to see who among your classmates can get into the most selective or prestigious college. As much as possible, focus on your own interests and goals. Try to stay away from comparing yourself to your friends or classmates. What's right for them may not be right for you.

Take Care of Yourself

No matter how busy you are, make sure you take care of yourself—physically, mentally and spiritually.

For example, it's tempting to stay up an extra few hours or even pull an all-nighter to get things done. But you'll pay the price over the next few days. And losing sleep regularly will take its toll on your health and well-being (not to mention your academic performance).

When you feel overwhelmed or fatigued, make some time to relax, spend time with friends or family, or do something that refreshes you. Talking to a sympathetic friend, family member or guidance counselor can also help.

Finally, this is YOUR senior year. You might be busy, you might feel stressed at times, but also take every opportunity to make your last year in high school a memorable one.

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