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Tips for Stress-Free College and University Application

Senior high school student after completing his college applications

No matter what the date on the calendar says, one thing is always true: university application deadlines are approaching, and they are approaching FAST. There may be various application processes and deadlines across Canada and the US, but one thing is always the same—applying to college or university is competitive and stressful! So, with that in mind, we’ve complied 8 tips for stress-free college and university application.

1. Don’t know what you want to study? Don’t worry! A general arts and sciences program is a great way to get a better feel for what your interests are. Colleges and universities have departments in place to help you make the best decisions for you. Be sure to take advantage of these resources—that’s what they’re there for.

2. Pick up the phone. Haven’t heard anything yet? Wondering if your application was received? If possible, find out the expected date when acceptance letters will be sent out to reduce waiting-related stress. Call the registrar’s office. Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Getting answers is better than the stress of wondering.

3. Submit before deadline. Different schools have different regulations and deadlines, but applying before the deadline never hurts.

4. Have a plan/Do your research. Talk to guidance counselors and friends. Request catalogues, visit campuses, and join university and college social media groups. Even after you’ve applied, keep researching and continue to find out as much about the school, the campus, and the departments as possible.

5. Be realistic. If you have a 70% average, applying to schools that have an 85% acceptance averages is not the best strategy. If you know the school’s acceptance averages beforehand, and applied to schools in your range, your acceptance chances increase, which decreases stress levels.

6. Be organized. Keep track of submission dates and expected offer dates. Use an agenda or wall calendar. That way, you’ll know when to start watching for those big envelopes in the mail! Keep all your required submission materials such as student records, essays, and other forms in one place in case you need to refer to them later.

7. Have a back up plan in place. This is not negative—it’s realistic. Didn’t get in? Money fell through? What’s your plan B?

8. Breathe! Once the forms are submitted, relax. Take a deep breath. Take a night off. Then get back to work! High School isn’t over yet and there’s still time to pull up your average and increase your chance of admission!

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