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Surviving the April Before College in Five Easy Steps

The last couple months before summer vacation can be wildly stressful for high school seniors anticipating college. On the one hand, acceptance and rejection letters start rolling in; on the other, there are still spring semester grades to keep level (lest a dropped GPA make your top school choices rethink their decisions). Meanwhile, there are still delicate social situations and parental controls to artfully balance. It's enough to make even the most laid-back senior break a sweat. In a neat little article from The Washington Post today, however, columnist Jay Mathews breaks down the perils of next month into five pointers covering all the bases in an effort to avert potential disaster.

1. How to handle happy, or grieving, friends: The college admissions system, at least for our most selective schools, has become as rational as who wins bingo night at church. Nobody, including the college admissions officers, has a clear idea why certain students are admitted and others are not. Some rejected applicants are just as good as the accepted. Through no fault of their own, some of your closest friends will get into their first-choice college and some will not. You should put aside your own worries for a moment and practice two short speeches. To those who win this lottery, you should say: "That's terrific. You worked so hard. You earned it. You are going to have a wonderful time." To the losers you should say: "Of course you realize this is totally random. It has nothing to do with you. You will have a great time at East Pecos State. You will be running the place, and as you know, the research shows the name of your college has no effect on your success in life. All you need is great character and drive, and you have that."

Interested in reading more about managing waitlisted schools, financial situations, and weathering welcome week at your new school? Check out the rest of the article here!

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