How Self-Care Can Help You Through the Admissions Process
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Shravya Kakulamarri in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
College applications are a great deal of work, and they can take much out of you. During this busy time, it is crucial to figure out how to balance productivity with taking good care of yourself. In this article, you’ll learn how to practice self-care, why self-care is so important during the admissions process, and how to look after your needs during tough times.
What Is Self-Care?
High school is stressful. Classes, extracurriculars, sports, working, family life, and more all pile up on top of each other. It can get overwhelming fast. Practicing self-care can help you not to get buried by everything you have to do.
The formal definition of self-care is taking action to preserve your own mental and physical health. It involves checking in with yourself, listening to your body, and intentionally tuning in to your thoughts and feelings.
Everyone practices self-care in different ways. What works for your friend may not work for you, and that’s okay.
Try to think about what makes you feel happy and satisfied. If you enjoy being active, you may want to go on a long run or bike ride. If you value time alone spent reflecting, you could find journaling helpful. Other people may think of exercise or writing as a burden, but they enjoy doing other activities to help clear their heads. Self-care should never feel like a chore. You should finish your routine refreshed and content.
Self-care becomes especially important as you prepare to go to college, where you’ll be living independently for the first time. Having healthy habits and self-care routines in place will help you deal with the challenges that you will face in college. Think about what makes you feel your best, and start trying to carve out time to practice it.
Self-Care While Applying to College
The admissions process brings even more stress to everything that you already have to do in high school. It can be quite emotionally draining, and there can be many moments of self-doubt. The uncertainty can start to get to you, and you may have times when you feel like you and your accomplishments aren’t good enough.
Check in with yourself regularly to figure out whether you’re doing all right. Ask yourself if you’re feeling less motivated or more down than usual. If you are, don’t hesitate to take a break. It’s okay to step away and disconnect from your application work from time to time.
It can be helpful to have a friend to talk to during this period. It’s good to have conversations with other people who are going through the same thing that you are. You don’t only have to have discussions about the admissions process, though. In fact, it’s often much more stress relieving to bring up random things in your life that aren’t related to college applications. Talk about movies, TV, music, or another interest that you share with your friend.
You also might find that you need time alone to recharge. Sitting down to watch a movie, read a book, or play a video game by yourself can allow you to relax and set your mind at ease.
You should also keep a good sleep schedule during this time. Pulling all-nighters won’t help you write your best work, even if it’s what you feel like you need to do. Getting the right amount of rest will help restore you and keep you healthy, and your work will only benefit from this. It can be tempting to push yourself to make something perfect at the cost of a few hours of sleep, but those few hours of sleep are what will help you make something the best that it can be.
While you may start to worry that you’re wasting your spare time by not spending every second on your applications, these acts of self-care will benefit you in the long run. Stepping away for a day or two will help you to come back and look at your applications more clearly. You don’t want to burn yourself out by focusing for too long on something that’s causing you stress. It isn’t selfish to meet your own physical and mental needs.
It’s important to come up with a schedule while applying to college. It will help remind you that you don’t need to do everything all at once; time management and being organized are part of self-care. You can break down everything that you need to do for each college or scholarship application into manageable chunks.
Your method of organizing your schedule may vary—you could use your Calendar app, an Excel spreadsheet, a Google Doc, or even a physical planner. Find something that you know that you’ll use, and make a list of the tasks that you need to complete.
After you’ve written down everything that you need to do, start to sort them in order of importance. Make sure you know the deadlines for every application, so you can plan your schedule for each component. Have a plan for when you should have completed drafts of your essays, when you need to submit your transcripts, when you have to gather letters of recommendation, and all the other important tasks that come with applying to college.
Making a clear schedule will help you know when you should focus on work and when you can take time for yourself. Crossing off each task as you complete it will feel great and will let you know that you’re on track to finishing the whole process.
Dealing with Rejections
If you’re applying to multiple schools, especially those with low acceptance rates, you likely won’t be admitted to every single one.
It can be difficult not to take it personally when a college rejects you, but there are a few important things to keep in mind. A rejection doesn’t speak to who you are as a person or make your accomplishments less impressive.
It helps to go into the process with the mindset that you’re going to have a good experience in college, no matter where you end up. A school that accepts you is going to be the right school for you. It also helps not to get too attached to any particular university. Having dreams is good, but having a dream school can lead to heartbreak down the line if you’re not admitted to it.
A good self-care routine will lift you out of any tough moments. Since so much of the admissions process can feel out of your control, taking care of yourself reminds you that you do have control over your life.
If you’ve been rejected from a university, you can let yourself be disappointed for a bit. But it’s crucial for you to take time to reflect on your successes in high school and to remember everything that you’ve achieved. This meditation can be a part of your self-care routine. You can also turn to your tried-and-true tactics for self-care. If you’ve already established what brings you joy, it will be much easier for you to recover from any low moments.
Establish self-care practices early so you can have something to fall back on during the stressful moments of the admissions process. Even after you’ve wrapped up the admissions cycle and have committed to a college, self-care will still provide you with strength and support. It may evolve with you as you take on new challenges in life, you can be aware of what you need to do to get to a state of peace, and you should feel free to incorporate different activities into your self-care routine.