College Application Anxiety? Take A Breath

Applying to college can be one of the most stressful experiences in a teen’s life. If you’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic (and possibly a natural disaster or two), you might be experiencing major anxiety this fall. While you probably can’t control the things that are causing your worries, through the practice of mindfulness, you can manage the way you handle them…and bring more calm and positivity to your life now and in the future. 

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Finding the Right College to Support Your Special Needs

No two people learn the same way. For those who have learning styles or challenges that aren’t compatible with a traditional high school approach, finding a school that is a good match (or finding ways to make your current school better serve you) can be its own challenge. That’s what makes planning for college so exciting: It’s a perfect chance, and maybe the first one you’ve ever had, to choose the educational environment where you will thrive. 

Your success and happiness in college depends in great part on how well your college meets your needs. If you already have an IEP or 504 plan in high school, you probably have a good understanding of what those needs are. If you’ve never had formal diagnostic testing but just know there are things that could help you do better in college, pay attention to those. Whatever you need, there are colleges that can provide it. 

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The Problem With Prestige

It’s human nature to want to be “the best” sometimes, and to have other people look at our accomplishments with admiration. The desire for prestige can be especially prevalent when you’re thinking about college. It might feel really important to attend a college that is considered “elite” — one whose name people will recognize and whose exceptional reputation will make you proud. But sometimes, the desire to attend a prestigious college can complicate your college process — and your life. If you’re finding that anxiety about getting into a “big name” college is rising, it’s time to take a step back for some perspective…and to learn how to manage the pressure for prestige.

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Wondering What to Do About the SAT/ACT?

If taking the SAT or ACT is on your “to do” list this year, you’ve probably found yourself navigating a chaotic situation. Spring test dates were cancelled. There might be additional test dates in the late summer and fall. There might be online testing options. There are a lot of “mights”. Things seem to be changing every week, and there isn’t any certainty about what will happen, or even whether you’ll get a chance to take the test before college applications are due. 

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The Gift of “I Don’t Know”

A big part of planning for college is focused on the future. What schools will I apply to? What will I major in? Who am I going to be when I “grow up”? At times, it might seem like everyone around you has answered these questions (and that you’re being plagued by adults who won’t stop asking them), and if it can be unsettling and even embarrassing if you haven’t yet.

But there is another way to look at the uncertainty you might experience when you’re planning for college: As a gift. As crazy as it may sound, that feeling of “I don’t know” can be a positive, and if you embrace it, it can benefit you not only on your journey to college, but throughout college and your future. What does “I don’t know” really mean? 

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When COVID Crushes Your College Dreams

No matter what your plans for fall semester of 2020 were, it’s likely that they’ve been completely upended. You might be registered classes that are completely or partially online (and maybe still paying full tuition for them). You  might be going to campus, but in a reconfigured and unpredictable environment, with single dorm rooms and socially distanced everything  (and one that might cause you anxiety). If you were planning to take a gap year, your travel plans or internships are on hold. If your family’s financial circumstances have been impacted by the virus, you might not be able to afford college at all now. 

Whatever’s happening for you, it’s not what you had expected. Just a few months ago, you thought this summer would be about spending carefree time with friends and family, getting to know your future roommates online, and shopping for your dorm. None of that is happening. If you’re experiencing disappointment, stress, anxiety and depression, you’re not alone. 

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Make the most of covid summer 2020

Obviously, this may not be the best summer ever. Most of what you’d planned to do or what you’d normally do during these long, hot days isn’t going to be possible. You might be taking online classes or have volunteer or other kinds of work that you can do virtually, but a lot of people are going to be left to their own devices to find productive ways to fill their time. One way you can do this is by coming up with a project that you can reasonably finish before school starts. 

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College Planning & COVID ~ What it means for juniors

For many of us, the Coronavirus pandemic is the first time we’ve ever had to face a situation that is truly beyond our control. If you’re a junior who’s planning to apply to college in the fall, it is no doubt heightening the sense of stress and anxiety around college admissions that you were already experiencing. The timing could absolutely not be worse for you. While there is nothing beyond practical safety measures that we can do to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our lives, having information about what you can (and can’t) do to keep your college process on track might give you some peace of mind.

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Smart Ways to “Visit” Colleges – Without leaving home

Visiting campuses is a great way to learn about colleges and get a real sense of whether they are a fit for your goals and needs. But sometimes, costs, time constraints, or unexpected obstacles (like a global pandemic) can make going to colleges in person impractical or even impossible. Luckily, there are still lots of ways you can check out colleges without even leaving your couch. 

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