Dealing with Stress

By Porter Reyes ’25

As an eighth-grader, I went through the stressful New York City high school application process. Being thirteen, I had no idea how to manage my stress; I even broke out into hives. But now, after finishing the high school application process, the college application process, and my first semester of college, I have learned some valuable stress-management tactics to help manage my anxiety. Let me share a few:


This semester, I have been meditating regularly. Luckily, Pomona gives every student access to the Calm app, which I have found to be a very helpful mindfulness tool. I try to meditate for at least ten minutes a day. The idea behind meditation is that by engaging in the practice, you are able to detach from past and future anxieties and connect to the present moment. If you practice meditation consistently, you can carry a sense of presence with you throughout your day, and call on it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Rejecting “grind culture” and doing things to recharge yourself (for yourself)

work harder signWorking yourself to death isn’t going to get you an A; you should work hard, but you have to know your limits. Unless you are in an extreme time-crunch situations (all-nighters, last-minute assignments, etc.), even when it feels like you have no time, it is critical to make time for yourself and partake in activities that refuel you. Especially when you’re feeling pressed for time, taking a break can really help you refocus and tamp down those stress hormones. Whether you rejuvenate by exercising, taking a walk, enjoying a cup of tea, or even watching a TV show, recharging is really beneficial. For example, at Pomona, lately I’ve been rock climbing with my friends. Whatever you do, make sure it energizes you and makes you happy!

Focus on what is in your control, and be yourself

Once you accept that in the college application process, all you can fully control is the content of your own application, a weight will be lifted off you. There’s no point in worrying about how an admissions office will perceive you. Students who submit applications that are genuinely reflective of themselves tend to be most successful in the college process and end up the happiest. Either you can stress about what you cannot control, or embrace uncertainty and focus on what is within your power.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post, I hope it was helpful! I am wishing you the best in your college application process.