The journey to college can be a daunting one, especially for anxious young adults. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some professional tips to provide the support and guidance young adults need to make their college application process less overwhelming and more manageable.

  1. Open Communication:

First and foremost, create a safe and non-judgmental space for the young adult to express their concerns, fears, and aspirations. Encourage open and honest communication.

  1. Understand Their Goals:

Explore their academic and career goals. Help them identify what they want to study and why. Understanding their aspirations can make the college selection process more purposeful.

  1. Break Down the Process:

Break the college application process into manageable steps. Create a timeline with deadlines for different tasks such as test preparation, essay writing, and submitting applications.

  1. Research Options:

Encourage the exploration of various colleges and universities. Help them research institutions that align with their interests, values, and academic requirements.

  1. Manage Expectations:

Emphasize that rejection is a normal part of the college application process. Help them understand that they may not get into every school they apply to, and that’s okay.

  1. Test Preparation:

Offer guidance on test preparation strategies for standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Suggest resources, study schedules, and test-taking tips.

  1. Essays and Personal Statements:

Assist with brainstorming, drafting, and editing college essays. Encourage them to be authentic and show their true selves in their writing.

  1. Financial Planning:

Discuss the financial aspects of college, including tuition, scholarships, and financial aid. Help them understand the costs and explore financial options.

  1. Campus Visits:

If possible, plan college visits to help the student get a feel for the campus environment. Visiting campuses can reduce anxiety about the unknown.

  1. Time Management:

Teach time management skills, as balancing schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and the college application process can be overwhelming.

  1. Self-Care:

Emphasize the importance of self-care. Encourage them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, and manage stress through exercise, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness.

  1. Seek Professional Guidance:

If the anxiety becomes overwhelming, recommend seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist who specializes in college-related stress and anxiety.

  1. Support System:

Encourage them to seek support from friends and family. Let them know that they don’t have to go through this process alone.

  1. Celebrate Achievements:

Celebrate small victories along the way, such as completing an application or getting accepted to a safety school. Positive reinforcement can boost confidence.

  1. Foster Resilience:

Teach resilience and coping skills. Emphasize that facing challenges during the application process can build important life skills.


Helping anxious young adults navigate the college application process is about providing them with the tools, information, and emotional support they need to make informed decisions and reduce anxiety. By following these professional tips, you can make this journey a more positive and transformative experience for them.

Helpful Resources:

A Summer Searcher’s Guide to Maximize College & Career


“Self-Care Strategies for College Students”


“7 WAYS TO FIGHT COLLEGE APPLICATION STRESS”,Your%20College%20Apps%20on%20Time

Written by:

Madeline Brown MB, BSW