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Seniors suggest ways to ease stress of college application crunch time

Accepted, deferred, waitlisted, declined. Financial aid, common app, SAT, ACT. These words sound all too familiar to the average high school senior.

The early months of a senior year bring waves of college applications, meetings with counselors and college representatives, and serious conversations with parents. On top of that, students have their regular school assignments to keep up with. How do students deal with this stress?

“Definitely go for a run,” says Haley Mills, a senior at Nardin Academy. Experts says exercise serves as an excellent stress reliever. Throwing some music on, running to the beat, and adding some dance moves, will help to clear your head of that unyielding stress in no time.

Spending a little time on social media helps other students to relax. We all know those cat videos that your family members fill your Facebook homepage with. Is there anything to take away from these furry and fun-filled creatures? Students can benefit greatly from watching these silly videos, which can increase levels of endorphins and dopamine – and our brains love dopamine. Taking five minutes from filling out that stressful college application to watch a cat chase a laser or a baby say something silly also will decrease stress levels, experts say.

Ariana Revelas, a Nardin senior, says that she blares show tunes in her ears and sings loudly. Whether your style is Beyonce, Bach or the Beastie Boys , music is a great stress reliever as it gives you something else to focus on for a certain time period.

If you feel that you have to strive for perfection, Alexa Bradley, another senior at Nardin, suggests, “Instead, remember you don’t have to impress anyone, and you can just be yourself.”

Admissions counselors want to know who applicants truly are – so being yourself is the best way to go. Striving for perfection can cause a lot of extra stress – because nobody’s perfect.

Instead of focusing on the negative stressors of the process, Hannah Fries, a senior at Nardin Academy says, “relax and enjoy the process rather than stress too much. Focus more on the exciting future and what college will bring.”

Have a positive attitude toward applying to college and you will only reap the benefits from the process. It is, after all, a learning experience.

Stress is inevitable, but how high school seniors deal with it is up to them. Applying to college should be taken seriously, but not “mental breakdown at 2 a.m.” seriously. Don’t forget to take a run every so often, listen to your favorite music, watch a silly video, be yourself, and enjoy everything life throws at you.

Brianna Fenzl is a senior at Nardin Academy.

Have a positive attitude toward applying to college and you will only reap the benefits from the process. It is, after all, a learning experience.