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10 affirmations for the girl struggling with college application anxiety

College application season is right around the corner, and for (most) high school seniors, that means all-nighters and frantic essay writing. With ever-lowering college admission rates and the intense pressure to attend an ~Ivy League~ institution, anxiety is on the rise in teens. Whether you're creating your college list or finished with applications, here are ten affirmations to ease your mind about the process.

1. Your "okay" is somebody's perfect.

Image via @studyng.

I'm here to tell you that your safety school is somebody's dream school. Your "bad" essay is someone's best one. Your B in math is someone's goal grade. Don't set ultra-high standards for yourself! Take time to recognize your capabilities and needs.

2. Your body needs rest, so let it rest!

Your body is not a machine. You are a human being and deserve time to rest. If you've been working on college apps *all week* and feel drained, it's okay to binge your favorite show or spend the day out with friends. You deserve it (and it will help your productivity in the long term). 

3. Indulging in your hobbies will benefit you.

Have you neglected your favorite activity? Whether it's watercoloring sunsets or blasting folklore, shifting your attention from stress to joy will benefit your mental health. Again, you are a person who deserves time and space to grow.

4. Your interests, values and identity are worthwhile.

Image via @withlovelinh.

You are a person, not a transcript or a list of accomplishments. Read that again. Your interests that don't make it onto the college application are still worthy of doing. I'm still figuring out how to participate in activities that won't boost my resume or make my non-existent college application shine. It's a process that takes a lot of care, learning and unlearning.

5. You will be at a college next year.

Image via @kenyoncollege.

I *always* worried that I would never get into college while applying. It was a pretty common fear among my friend group that we wouldn't get into any schools. Plot twist—we're all at colleges we love. I promise you will be at college next year. End of story. 

6. Your college is *your* business.

And maybe your parents'. However, no one is entitled to judge which schools you apply to or choose to attend. Relating to point #1, you shouldn't feel peer-pressured to attend a four-year university right away if you're not comfortable or ready. Go at your own pace! 

7. Gap years are valid.

Especially since we're living through a literal pandemic, it's perfectly reasonable to take a gap year. Using that time away from school and focusing on work or volunteerism helps ground yourself in the real world outside of academia.

8. The degree matters more than the school.

Image via @shopsundae.

You've probably heard this a million times (I definitely did), but it's true your degree matters WAY more than the actual school. Sure, some ultra-prestigious schools will give you an edge in connections and social mobility, but every college offers the same thing: a degree. You will benefit from an education, no matter where you get it.

9. You will go to your dream school.

Maybe you'll end up at your one-and-only since middle school, or maybe you'll have to transfer. Whatever happens, you will go to your dream school with an incredible program and professors you love. 

10. You are loved.

Image via @avajules_.

No matter what college you attend, what you study, who your professors are, what your grades are, how much scholarship money you get or where you go in life, you are loved. 

Tweet your favorite college affirmation @girlslifemag!

Top image via @todaywithjudy. Slider image via @studyngGif via GIPHY.

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by Julieanne Larick | 8/25/2021
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