The college application process can cause anxiety and stress for high school students. In this blog, learn how Hazel clinicians can support the emotional health of students via teletherapy as they navigate important decisions and steps.
Though high school graduation represents an exciting time for many students, it also brings with it many important questions and decisions that have long-term impacts. As students approach the end of their high school journey, they must ask: What do I want to do with my life? Where do I want to go? What are my next steps? How can I make my hopes a reality? Answering these questions can be overwhelming and often requires challenging conversations and considerations.
Because of the high stakes of these choices, along with the very personal and complex nature of the decision-making, the overall process can have a significant impact on student wel-lbeing. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 50% of students said the college admissions process was their most stressful academic experience.
Hazel Health teletherapy can support the wellbeing of students as they make informed decisions about their post secondary next steps.
5 ways Hazel Health teletherapy can support students during the college application process
1. Coping with application stress and anxiety
Students can feel like college applications hold the key to their entire future. Each piece–from standardized tests, essays, and recommendation letters–can cause feelings of immense pressure and concerns over whether they will measure up to personal, family, or peer expectations.
In an article by the Los Angeles Times, UCLA freshman Cheyenne Fernandes reflected, “With the college application process, I was very stressed because this is the accumulation of 12 years of hard work going into an essay and an application.”
Hazel therapists can help students work through feelings of inadequacy, overwhelming stress, and the pressure to succeed. With their Hazel therapist, students develop healthy coping mechanisms to utilize as they navigate this time.
2. Balancing the stress of financial considerations with college options and other challenges
Finances play a critical role in choosing a college; a student’s socioeconomic background will heavily influence their options. Some students receive financial support from parents, while others are responsible for paying themselves. Others may rely entirely on financial aid and scholarships. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 85% of students receive some form of financial aid.
Hazel therapists can help students cope with the stress and worry that come with important financial decisions, along with ensuring that students do not internalize financial challenges as part of their self-worth.
3. Keeping perspective and remaining positive through the ups and downs of the application process
The nature of the college application process is that many students will receive disappointing news in some form–whether not getting a test score that met their expectations or not getting into a college of their choice or not being awarded a scholarship or sufficient financial aid package.
Hazel therapists offer support and help guide students through the challenges of this process. By providing a safe space for students to express emotions, therapists help build resilience and ensure that setbacks don’t derail students from their academic aspirations.
4. Navigating family conflict
Family often plays an important role in the college selection process, and their expectations and influence significantly impact a student’s decision. Parents often envision their child attending a specific school or pursuing a particular area of study. Some families have a tradition of attending a specific college and may encourage their children to carry on the tradition or follow in their siblings' tracks. While this creates a sense of belonging and legacy, it may also pressure students into making certain decisions.
Hazel therapists equip students with coping strategies and offer advice on how to have difficult and important conversations with family members. Therapists provide an objective perspective and help students sort out their priorities versus those of their loved ones. Ultimately, choosing a college is a personal journey, and while family input is valuable, the final decision should align with the student’s passions, aspirations, and academic and career goals.
5. Making thoughtful decisions with confidence
There is a lot of pressure that comes with making the “right” choice when it comes to selecting a college. With thousands of options available across the globe, it’s no wonder that the decision about where to apply to, and later attend, can be overwhelming.
Students have to weigh various options and must consider if college is the right choice for them. From there, they might consider the location of the college, available programs, the reputation of the institution, the cost of tuition, and the potential for scholarships or financial aid. They have to consider the social and cultural environments, campus facilities, extracurricular activities, proximity to home, and the overall lifestyle the college offers and supports.
Hazel therapists can help students as they make these big decisions. They can support students in considering the spectrum of factors and weigh the different options. Through therapy, students can explore who they are, who they want to become, and map out a path that aligns with their preferences, circumstances, and goals.
With Hazel, students are not alone in the college application process
The college application process involves more than simply choosing where to go to school. This is a huge moment in a young person’s life, and is full of big emotions, dynamics, and decisions. It is critical that students have emotional support throughout the journey.
Hazel supports students through this time by providing teletherapy at no cost to families. Teletherapy allows students to express fears, anxiety, conflict, and other emotions they’re feeling from the comfort of home or school. With their Hazel therapist, students can work through concerns, process emotions, carefully consider options, and, ultimately, make a thoughtful decision that is right for them.