The college search process can be stressful. You’re trying to find the right academic, social, and financial fit for the next four years of your life. Throw in the current circumstances and it can seem impossible. How do you balance school, the worry of what will college look like in the future, and deciding where you want to go if you can’t even leave your house? It’s during these times of overwhelming uncertainty and worry that you need to take a step back and take care of you. You’ll end up where you’re meant to be but for the time being there a a few steps you can take to take control of your situation.
Remember that you are not alone in this experience. It may feel that you are the only high school student suffering through your last semester or feeling the frustration of not being able to see colleges in person. Find comfort in the fact that every single high school student is in the same position as you. If you’re worried about class credits or AP scores know that changes are happening across the board to be able to meet you where you’re at. You cannot control this situation and colleges know that. Everyone is adjusting to working and learning from home, we are all in this together.
Use your resources! Whether you’re a high school senior who is trying to choose between a few colleges or a junior just beginning your search, there have never been more online resources for you as there is now. Universities across the country are now more accessible than ever with virtual sessions and tours, student Q & A’s, and direct access to your counselors are just a zoom call away. You don’t even have to leave your couch! At Furman, we are updating new ways to connect every week so while you’re bored at home (or procrastinating assignments) use this time to research schools and connect with people.
A change in your normal routine is never easy, especially when it’s unexpected and mandated. Maybe you don’t have set hours for classes anymore, or no real sleep schedule. Creating your our schedule and routine at home can be life changing! Giving yourself set times to get things done will leave you feeling accomplished and more productive throughout the day. Set a sleep schedule, you can wake up when you normally would for school (or give yourself an extra hour) then go through the motions of getting ready, eating breakfast, and sitting down for your work. During lunch time you could call a friend and talk about the latest show you binged watched on Netflix. Use an hour in the afternoon to narrow down your college search or reach out to ask questions you might have! Don’t feel like you have to have every hour of the day scheduled, give yourself some grace and find ways to relax throughout the day.
Take Care of YOU
Self-care is something that we see all over Instagram and YouTube promoting unattainable morning routines and crazy workouts. And you might ask – how can self-care benefit my college search process? When you are taking care of yourself, in whatever way is best for you, you are able to put your best foot forward. The act of self-care can be many different things – face masks, exercise, reading a book, socializing with friends, spending time outside, etc. It’s really easy to let the state of the world get you down and feeling unmotivated (I’ve certainly had those days lately), but when you take the time to take care of you, it makes all the difference. Get outside, do a quick exercise, and make time to talk with your best friends! Little things go a long way in taking control of your mental health.
As college counselors, we are here for you all through this challenging time. You are not going through this process alone so talk to your friends about their experiences, sign up for a virtual college information session, or schedule a call with your admissions counselor. Talking to and connecting with people can make all the difference right now. Use your resources that your high school and colleges are providing you with right now – there’s so many options! Create a productive schedule at home and don’t forget to pencil in some self-care. I’ll attach a few links I think are helpful below. Know that there is a light at the end of this, just focus on what you can control now – how you are tackling your college search process and taking care of yourself.
Furman College Resources:
Carly Bailey, Admissions Counselor