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Taking the Stress Out of Applying to College and Graduate School

personal growth reduce stress stress management Jun 26, 2023

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Taking the Stress Out of Applying to College and Graduate School

Applying to college or graduate school can be quite stressful. After all, there are so many moving parts and it can be hard to stay organized. You must gather admissions documents, write essays, and handle many other tasks to submit your application on time. Today, Reduce Stress and Thrive shares some practical tips to take the stress out of the process and help you get organized along the way!

Keeping Your Admissions Documents Organized

First, make sure all your admissions documents are organized in a single place. This includes any transcripts, resumes, letters of recommendation, and other essential paperwork you must complete. Create a folder specifically for your college or graduate school application, and start putting all the related documents in it.

Keep track of what paperwork has been requested and what still needs to be completed, as well as when each document is due. You might want to create an Excel spreadsheet or use an app like Todoist or OmniFocus 3 so you can easily check off items after completing them.

Digitizing your college admission documents is imperative in the digital age. Whether it’s applications, forms, transcripts, or any other materials, converting your paper documents into PDFs can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Even better, there are free tools you can use if you need to add pages to your PDF, making it easier to keep all your important documents in one place. That way, you won’t have to worry about navigating through big files when heading to the admissions office; everything will be right where it needs to be!

Taking Time for Relaxation and Self-Care

Another way to take the stress out of applying for college is by intentionally relaxing and practicing self-care, especially at home. Set aside time for yourself, whether it’s for cooking something delicious, reading a novel, or going for an evening stroll. Anything that helps you distress and recharge will do! It’s essential not to get overwhelmed by the application process. Take regular breaks so that you can come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next task.

Getting Ready for Standardized Tests

If standardized tests (e.g., SAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.) are part of your admissions requirements, you’ll need to plan ahead and start studying early. Develop a timeline based on when you’ll take the test so that you have ample opportunity to prepare and ensure you don’t cram too close to the test date. There are plenty of resources available online where you can find practice tests and helpful study tips. The more you prepare now, the less stressed you’ll be when it’s time to take your exams!

Asking for Referral Letters   

Don’t forget about asking for referral letters from teachers or mentors who know your work well enough to speak positively about it. Also, ask friends and family who are members of alumni associations or university faculty for advice and referrals. Don’t be afraid to reach out — even the most successful people were once in your shoes!

Crafting an Impactful Admission Essay

Similarly, give yourself plenty of time to write a compelling admission essay. It should be interesting yet succinct enough so that readers understand why they should consider admitting you into their program. Again, there are a wealth of online resources that provide essay samples and useful advice on how to best approach this type of assignment.

Going for Scholarships

Applying for college or graduate school can be expensive, and finding scholarships is still one of the best ways to finance your education. Start by researching all the scholarship opportunities available through your school and online, and connect with organizations like Woman of Wonder that specialize in helping mothers realize their dreams of returning to school! You might also reach out to your parents’ employers and organizations in your community for additional funding sources.


You don’t have to accept the stress and anxiety that comes with applying for college or grad school. By staying organized and taking care of yourself along the way, you can sail through the process smoothly and successfully! Take time to organize your admissions documents, practice self-care, prepare for tests, and implement the other steps above. You’ll be well on your way to getting into your preferred school in no time!

Reduce Stress and Thrive is here to help you live the life you’ve always wanted. Click here to get started.


Post-Read: Post by Camille Johnson. Check out Camille's website and [email protected] for more articles and self-care inspiration.

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