Cope with College Letter Stress

Cope with College Letter Stress

It’s almost that time of year where your teen is waiting for those college decisions to come back. This moment of anticipation is one of the most stressful times in a teenager’s life. You might be wondering how to help ease your children’s stress during this time. While you can’t solve this problem for your kid, here are some things you can do to help.


Recognize the Thoughts and Feelings that Commonly Arise

We all have inner critical thoughts from time to time. However, teens might be extra stressed during this time period which means they can be very hard on themselves. In times of uncertainty, their self-criticism might increase. Teens might think to themselves “You’re not going to get accepted anywhere,” “How can you tell your parents that you didn’t get in?” or “Everyone will be disappointed in you.” Even though these thoughts or feelings might be normal, it’s important to be empathetic towards your child so that you can create an environment where they feel it’s okay to have those thoughts from time to time. Instead of shooting down their feelings by saying “Don’t be dramatic” or “don’t worry,” say something like “I understand that this is hard.” This will remind them that their feelings are valid. Always remember, teaching them to take their emotions seriously is not a lesson in defeat, but a lesson in resilience


Reward the Process

Previous research has shown that motivation can lead to greater life satisfaction. No matter how the outcome of applications turns out for your teen, applying to colleges is a great time for them to learn and grow. They are growing from a kid to an adult and are learning all about taking risks, tolerating vulnerability, and working hard. That is something to be proud of! Recognize how your teen may be feeling and reward them for doing something that might make them feel uncomfortable, but is worth the risk. Take them out to dinner, get them that new video game they’ve been asking for, or bring them to that amusement park. Your teen worked hard to get to the point where they are today, show them you appreciate that hard work!


Remind your Teen It’s Not Personal

Teens work their whole lives’ towards applying to college. Because of this, they might mistake their own self worth with their college application decision. However, be sure to remind them that their self-worth isn’t what is being judged on that college application and that there is more to life than college. College is just one chapter of being an adult and it won’t make or break them. 


Campbell Teen Family Therapy

If you notice that your teen is struggling more than usual with college decisions right around the corner, they might benefit from teen therapy. As a parent, you can’t solve all of your teens’ problems. At Campbell Teen & Family Therapy, Inc. we are experts in helping teens and their families. With our specialty on adolescents, we are competent at not just helping your teen with the difficult challenges they face, but also with helping parents know what to do, when to back off, when to draw the line and to just know they aren’t alone. Call now (408) 628-0532 to schedule an assessment to see if therapy is right for your teen.