It’s fair to say we don’t always know what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean it has to be scary. Not having a full picture of what is ahead can allow you to see new possibilities. It is okay to feel unsure, but trust the process.

I know that is easier said than done. As a lot of high school students are getting ready to graduate, the big college decision is getting closer. If you’re one of them, it may seem intimidating. I have been there myself. In fact, I am in a similar situation right now as I prepare to graduate from college next fall. I get how you’re feeling and I would like to share some advice with you.

Set Goals And Get Excited

The first thing I would recommend is setting goals for yourself. You have probably heard that many times, but it is really good advice. Having something to work towards can keep you motivated and invested in your future. Plus, I often find having a more definitive plan removes quite a bit of my stress. It serves as a reminder that there are things I can do and control as well as things that are simply out of my hands. Sometimes just knowing there is a plan, even if it ultimately changes, can be enough.

Setting specific goals is especially useful when you have important deadlines. Applications and scholarships usually have a due date, so committing to finishing them by or before then is a good idea. Whether you are writing down a list of calendar dates or setting phone reminders, I would highly recommend having deadlines easily on hand. You don’t want to miss your chance to get an amazing scholarship or apply to a school you love.

While planning is great and helps you stay invested, one of the best things you can do to stay motivated is to find something to get excited about. Seriously. Look forward to news and mail and every milestone, big or small. My senior year of high school, I checked the mail every day to see if I had letters from colleges or local scholarship groups. I remember getting my acceptance letter from Cornerstone. I immediately called my mom, texted my siblings and Snapchatted all of my friends. I was so excited and the people in my life got to experience that with me, which brings me to my next point.

Find Your Support System

You are not alone in this journey. There are so many people who want to support, encourage and help you succeed. Surround yourself with those people. Lean on them and celebrate with them.

If you don’t know who those people are for you, connect with parents, friends, pastors, teachers and the many academic advisors at your school and the colleges you are looking at.

Many of these people have connections of their own that may be beneficial to you. Your teachers have their own experiences with hunting for colleges and jobs. Many high schools also have academic advisors that can help you get connected to colleges and scholarships, as well as other information and resources.

If you find some colleges that interest you, contact their admissions office. At Cornerstone, we have an amazing team ready to answer your questions. They also host some pretty fun events for students wanting to learn about Cornerstone.

One of the most enlightening things I did in my college search was scheduling a phone call with Cornerstone. I got to talk to a student who had been attending Cornerstone at the time. Not only did I get to ask my questions, but it was a comfortable space with someone who was knowledgeable and genuinely interested in helping me with my journey.

Trust The God That Walks With You

In what might seem like a time of uncertainty, never forget the one that is always constant. God has promised to walk with you in the good times and the bad. As it says in John 16:33 (English Standard Version), “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

You aren’t alone in this journey, so don’t let it scare you. Get excited and work towards your goals. If you are deep in the college search, Cornerstone’s community would be happy to help you. We have loads of great resources including our new free guide to help you with the college search during COVID-19.

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