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The differentiation between the thin and fat envelopes of the past has given way to the opening sentence of an email that either ominously describes the highly competitive pool of outstanding students, or cheerily begins with an offer of congratulations. None of the rest of the email matters after that point. For parents, college admittance can feel like affirmation of a parenting job well-done, and an opportunity for bragging rights on Facebook. After years of prodding, yelling, begging, carpooling, cheering, booing, questioning and — inevitably — comparing, parents can measure their parenting performance by the number of congratulatory opening lines they review. For the students, the responses mark the culmination of years of fears, stress, lack of sleep, too many practices and a forced abandonment of free time.
Addressing the pressures teens face in today’s fast-paced world.
As the frenzied admissions season winds to a close, many students finally know where they will be attending college in the fall. But there remains a troubling question: how much damage was done along the way? A demographic bubble has produced the largest group of graduating seniors in history, and they now are facing rejection by colleges at record rates — more than 90 percent at Harvard and Yale, for example. There will be more disappointment this week as the May 1 admissions deadline passes and thousands who were on waiting lists learn that there are no spots left for them. Students complain about lack of sleep, stomach pain and headaches, but doctors and educators also worry that stress tied to academic achievement can lead to depression , eating disorders and other mental health problems. When the official rejection letter arrived in the mail, he invited his friends over and burned it. View all New York Times newsletters.
And the pain may be peaking now, as students await the last of their college letters and have to deal with rejection or, for the lucky ones, the difficulty of deciding where to spend the next four key years. College advisers and psychologists who work with students have some advice for putting it all into perspective. When the e-mails do come, encourage them to talk, she said. Judy Suchman, the owner of the Chappaqua Learning Center, a tutoring, test prep and college counseling service, said her main message to students is to be realistic. She also advises students to apply "early action," which means they will hear from the college early but will not have to commit until spring.
As the New Year approaches, there are likely a lot of things on your mind: the holidays, winter break, your personal goals for Ahead, find 10 tips from experts on how to stay relaxed, productive, and positive as you approach the home stretch. Keep everything organized. Get every single bit of it out of your head and on paper — or some sort of digital organization system. Jodi Rosenshein Atkin, a college admissions consultant, suggests creating a grid.