The college application and decision process can be a very challenging, stressful time both for upperclassmen in high school and transfer students. I’m a senior in high school, and I’ve been dealing with a lot of the issues that come with the college process. There seems to be a lot of anxiety for seniors, because of the amount of work it takes to fill out applications and write essays and stress from not knowing which college to pick. I’ve also seen my peers struggling with depression from not getting admitted to the college of their choice. I’m so grateful I’ve had Christian Science through this process, because it’s helped me know how to pray about all of these concerns.
For me, the big issue has been trying to figure out where I belong. Going into the process, I didn’t prepare myself metaphysically by praying or trying to establish a spiritual basis for what I was doing. Bad idea. I quickly found myself under a cloud of stress.
I knew the moment I shifted my focus to God, the stress and fear would lift.
That’s when I decided to talk to my mom and ask for some metaphysical support, because I knew the moment I shifted my focus to God the stress and fear would lift, and I’d be able to hear God’s loving direction.
My mom told me that divine Mind, God, is unfolding His perfect plan for me. That may seem simple, but it went a long way. It was very comforting to me to know that my place in God’s universe is permanently established and that I’ll always have the ideas I need to take the right path forward. The stress faded and I felt more secure.
Once your applications are submitted, you’re either going to get accepted or rejected. I’ve completed most of my applications, so I’ve begun dealing with the concerns surrounding the outcome.
I pray every morning and often return to this Bible verse from Luke: “Not my will, but thine, be done” (22:42). While it’s tempting to feel like the admissions committees at each of the colleges where I’ve applied are deciding my fate, it’s been helpful to recognize that God is in charge of everything, and because He is completely good, His will for our lives is completely good. God gives me my purpose and that’s expressed in a tangible way by my being guided to the place where I can best fulfill that purpose. I also like thinking about how the right college for me needs what I have to offer.
We can each turn our thoughts to God and listen for His assurance that we are cared for and guided.
One of the biggest problems for students is deciding where to go once all the acceptances are in. I haven’t gotten to this part of the process yet. But I’m already preparing spiritually, and I feel confident that I’ll be guided to the right decision for me. I’ve been praying with my favorite hymn, which is a poem by Mary Baker Eddy that begins: “Shepherd, show me how to go.” And later in that verse it says, “I will listen for Thy voice” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 304). I like this idea because it reminds me that my Shepherd (God) is guiding me, and that my job is just to listen for His voice. It’s not up to me to figure out anything on my own.
While all of this is still a work in progress, I know that the same spiritual facts that are helping me can help anyone who is submitting applications or awaiting a decision. Instead of getting caught up in fear and stress, we can each turn our thoughts to God and listen for His assurance that we are cared for and guided.