Applying for college can be a daunting task for most students. You must write one or more essays, take grueling standardized tests, ask teachers for recommendations, and more—all while completing your classwork, participating in extra-curricular activities, and possibly even having a part-time job. These demands can be hard to manage—especially when you are applying to many different schools with competitive admissions processes. Because the college application process is so stressful, it is important that you have ways to manage your stress. This article will offer five ways to help you deal with the stress that accompanies the college application process.

 
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 #1 Get Adequate Sleep


 

Sleep is a natural source of rejuvenation for your body. It can be tempting to over-work yourself when you are trying to get into college, but a rested mind is a powerful mind. Proper sleeping habits can positively impact your creativity and critical thinking. Doctors recommend that teenagers get about 9-9.5 hours of sleep a night for optimal performance. Getting enough sleep can reduce your stress levels because you will feel more clear-minded and able to take on problems when you are feeling sharp rather than groggy.

 
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#2 Maintain A Balanced Diet


 

Proper nutrition will help you feel ready to face whatever the day can throw at you. However, when you are feeling stressed it is easy to turn to junk foods such as ice cream, pizza, and French fries as a way to de-stress. This reaction may help you feel better in the moment, but it is not a long-term solution for handling stress and can decrease your academic performance. Instead, it is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and eat whole grains.

 
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#3 Engage In Physical Activity


 

Physical activities like jogging, yoga, basketball, and hiking are all good ways to relieve stress. Worrying and feeling stressed often manifests itself as nervous energy and the tendency to fidget or pace. A good way to use this energy is to play sports or do some kind of physical activity. Besides the benefit of using up nervous energy, physical activity releases endorphins that produce sensations of euphoria (extreme happiness) and calmness. That way, you feel more relaxed after you finish exercising.
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#4 Try Breathing Techniques


 

Deep breathing techniques have been proven in many studies to reduce feelings of stress. Breathing techniques work because deep breaths slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, helping you to feel calmer. They also lower your cortisol levels (a stress hormone), making you feel calmer. You can also try  progressive muscle relaxation during which you gradually relax all of the muscles in your body by flexing and then relaxing them. This technique is a very effective way to reduce stress when used with deep breathing.

 

#5 Work With A College Preparation Professional


 

A practical strategy for dealing with stress when applying to college is to work with a college preparation professional. These individuals have assisted many other students get into college, so whereas everything may seem overwhelming to you, the process is much more familiar to them. They can help you narrow down your college list, figure out the requirements for different schools, help you follow through with your application plan, along with many other services. Instead of going at it alone, you can have someone help you every step of the way.

 

Allow California College Prep to Help

 

The college application process can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. To manage your stress, you should sleep well, eat healthy foods, exercise, try breathing techniques, and consider getting help from a college preparation professional. If you feel that you can not handle this yourself, reach out to California College Prep. We have counselors that can help High School Students with the College Application Process or even Transfer Students with transferring Credits!.

 

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