De-stress your senior year

When senior year finally comes around after three years of being an underdog, you get special perks like off-campus lunch, being first to buy school dance tickets, and access to school parking spots for those who are driving, if you go anywhere else but Payton. But senior year also means November 1/January 1, two popular college application deadlines.

Awaiting the letters that tell you where you will and won’t go in the near future can be anxiety-filled, nerve-wracking, and exciting. But a lot of work needs to be put forth into college applications. The first part of senior year is filled with balancing college applications as well as school work, so stress invites itself into every type of the keyboard and every opening of the textbook.


Stress Relieving Tips:

  1. Get organized: gather all application deadlines and test dates and create a time management schedule that balances time to do college work and time to do other activities.
  2. Create a calming environment for focusing:  use aromatherapy, scented oils, listen to classical music, and work in a quiet place.
  3. Be well-rested in mind and body: get about eight hours of sleep and drink plenty of water.
  4. Visualize an optimistic future for yourself: focus on your goals; picture yourself putting in the effort it takes to get into the college of your dreams, and then make that dream happen.


Here is how Payton students are dealing with stress:

“Normally I meditate often because it’s awesome. Everyone should come to meditation enrichment on Tuesdays, and sorry for the shameless promotion, but since the college application process has started, I meditate all the time. Taking a few minutes away from whatever essay or scholarship app I’m working on makes all the difference. Sometimes people think they need to work, work, work, to make sure everything gets done, but if I do that I get so overwhelmed that I lose track of what I was trying to accomplish in the first place and end up being much less productive than if I take breaks. My advice: breathe a little, everything is going to work out.” -Pria Daniel ‘15


“Put time aside specifically to work on college applications and try to get rid of distractions like phones and social media. Everything takes much longer than you anticipate so give yourself as much time as possible. The more you have done, the less stressed you will be. Think of it as work you won’t have to do later, rather than work you’re doing now.”

-Ross Sinar ‘15


“If you think you’re stressed out now, trust me, you’re not. The stress isn’t real until you’re actually IN college. But everything you do now will pay off in the end.”

-Alyssa Estrada, Columbia University ‘18 (WPCP ’14)


“Put in your best effort now and then you can relax later because you know you did the best that you could have done.”

-Agata Oborka, University of Illinois ‘18 (WPCP ‘14)


“When I’m really stressed out, I just remind myself that I’m almost a second semester senior.”

-Toni Madorsky ‘15

Jenny Matusova ‘16 does the tree-pose to relieve stress. Photo credit: Martha Muller

Jenny Matusova ‘16 does the tree-pose to relieve stress. Photo credit: Martha Muller


Just relax and try to enjoy senior year and the special bonds you have formed with students and teachers because you will never have an experience quite like this again. This is the time to start finding out who you are and what you want to be, but it’s okay to not know yet. Give yourself many different options for colleges and be open to trying new things.


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