January 20, 2013
January has always been one of my favourite times of the year. The blanket of fresh white snow brings with it the refreshing promises of the New Year. For some of you, this January marks the beginning of a fresh time in your lives as it ushers in the year you begin your post-secondary education. Many universities are now asking for personal essays as a supplement to the traditional application. To add to this, exam time is just around the corner for many students. Simply put, work is piling up. Keeping January’s hopeful outlook alive as you enter your period of stress is a key part of both managing your anxiety and easing the eventual transition from high school to university life. These five tips will help you keep January’s hopefulness alive throughout the months of the university application and acceptance process.
Be informed. Google anything and everything having to do with the universities and programs to which you have applied. Watch YouTube videos relating to these institutions. Make sure that you’ve gathered all the information you need to make an informed decision. This way, when the time comes to accept one of your offers, you can do so with confidence and excitement.
Imagine the future. Visit the campuses and people-watch – imagine what you will be undertaking in the fall. Make sure you can see yourself at that institution, walking among the crowds to classes, studying in the library and eating at the dining halls. If you can take the time to imagine what life will look like for you at that university, you will be able to make sure that you belong there.
Live in the present. Enjoy the now and make your last year in high school count. Attend and partake in school events because it will be the last time you can go to that school assembly or let loose at the annual father-daughter dance. Put time aside to make sure that you enjoy this milestone year by making memories that will last a lifetime.
Foster relationships. Spend quality time with friends you may not be so near to come fall. As exciting a time as this is, it is always sad to part ways with old friends. However, making your last few months together special allows you all to carry forward great memories and experiences. It also gives you a special bond to return to as you and your friends reunite in the coming years.
Get everything in order. Each day that passes brings graduation season closer, so begin preparing for your university career. This can be anything from practicing new study habits to creating photo collages with your friends to hang on dorm room walls. Get ready for that new chapter in your lives.
There are many ways that we can come to realize the hope a new year brings, and if we don’t carry hope with us, we venture into dangerous territory – one that lacks both desire and confidence.
Maybe this is the reason why university applications are due in January. The beginning of a new year reminds us to do one of the most important things of all: have hope.