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College Admissions Stress
January 3, 2013
Are you a student or the parent of a student with college admissions stress? If you just finished up getting your applications in at the deadline, chances are you’re feeling a bit of relief. But you know that relief will be short-lived as in just a few days (or hopefully longer — weeks), your worrying will pick up again. You’ll start to think, “Did I have a typo in my personal statement?” Or “Did I answer a question incorrectly on the Common App?” Or maybe “Did I totally write a bad response to the Why College essay?” There will be a ton of Monday morning quarterbacking, especially if you waited until the last minute and, well, didn’t have The Ivy Coach helping you through the entire process.
College admissions stress has increased in the 21st century because of how admissions decisions are delivered. Facebook doesn’t help either.
Some think that the college admissions process has only gotten more stressful over the years. Some say that because admission rates are lower and lower every year that it’s that much more stressful because the odds of getting in are that much lower. Keep in mind that admission to highly selective universities doesn’t necessarily become more and more competitive each year just because admission rates drop. Additional unqualified students who apply don’t make it more difficult to get in and more and more colleges reach out to unqualified applicants to boost their selectivity.
But the college admissions process is getting more stressful because of things like Facebook. When students get in (or don’t get in…or get waitlisted), they often post their college admissions decision as a status update on Facebook. As a high school student waiting to hear back from colleges, learning of one’s peers’ admissions decisions via Facebook is very stressful. And it’s not something that high school students in the 20th century had to deal with. Back in the 20th century, students used to also learn of their college admissions decisions by opening their mailbox (their physical mailbox by their home). Now, students learn by logging in online or through email notifications. Often times, students aren’t at home when they learn of their decision and this too adds to the stress of the college admissions process. If you know you’re going to be receiving word from a college or colleges, we always recommend being at home so that you can deal with all of the emotions that come with the decision by yourself rather than around potentially competitive friends.