It’s becoming common knowledge that teenagers are more stressed than ever. A recent study determined that nearly 50% of high school students who attend rigorous high schools feel a great deal of stress on a daily basis. (You can find that study here) Additionally, The National Association of Mental Illness reports that 1 in 4 students have had suicidal thoughts.
But, one of the things perpetuates the problem is the amount of finger pointing in different directions. Schools blame parents. Parents blame colleges. Colleges blame schools. Students blame all of these and their peers.
This recent article is a must-read, and sheds some light on the current culture of perfectionism and high expectations for teens. It also provides specific advice for parents, educators and selective colleges. So, perhaps, rather than pointing fingers in different directions, everyone can each look inward and change what they do.
At Campus Bound, we are particularly concerned about student wellness and how it relates to the college admission process. We understand that students are overscheduled and stressed, and we are troubled by it.
Campus Bound was founded and operates under the framework that students come first. We love the families we work with and the mental health of both parents and students is always our first priority.
Here are some of the ways that Campus Bound is turning inward and making efforts to reduce our part in the cycle of student stress:
- We are counselors first. Most of the staff at Campus Bound have professional training in counseling or metal health related fields. Campus Bound works hard to maintain a collegiate environment where staff members with different backgrounds (for example, our Essay Specialists with English degrees) can collaborate and seek advice regarding mental health efforts.
- Working with students on an individual basis allows us to find the best college matches for each person. Our students have applied to 406 unique colleges; it’s clear there is no cookie-cutter approach here!
- Students who work with us have access to a free career profile that can identify student strengths, weaknesses and interests to show students which majors and/or careers are a good match for them. We want students to be happy, informed, and confident so they can find success in college and beyond.
- We help with every part of the process, letting students know when something is important to focus on and when it’s time to move on from a detail that won’t make a difference. We help student pace out upcoming deadlines and spread out the work. Planning around the student’s schedule ensures that the student’s health and wellbeing come first.
- We pay attention to all aspects of the student, family, and process. Colleges should be a good fit academically, personally, and financially. “Best college” means more to us than someone else’s ranking system. Prestige is less important than potential for happiness and personal success.
- Our counselors and essay specialists only take on the clients they can work into their schedule. Happy, stress-free (or, let’s just say, less stressed) counselors is good for everyone involved.
These are the ways Campus Bound is committed to helping students and families navigate teenage stress and anxiety. Some people may feel that hiring a college counselor will mean more stress, but it’s actually the opposite. We guide students to finding a good match, on their schedule, with minimal pressure. We can take the worry away.
Several Campus Bound counselors recently had the privilege of hearing Dr. David Gleason, founder of Developmental Empathy, LLC, speak about teen stress and anxiety. He made the point that it’s the “adults’ anxieties that are driving the ship… at the cost of our students’ wellbeing.” We are counselors. We love students; we love taking their anxieties away. And we are proud to be a company that puts students first.