At what point does stress become unhealthy? We tend to think of stress as becoming unhealthy when we are no longer coping well, when we are becoming dysregulated, and when it is negatively impacting us and our daily functioning. When stress and anxiety have outweighed our resources, we have begun to experience unhealthy stress, and unhealthy stress needs to be addressed. Remember the Cornell University graphic that was shared here last month - that as we increase stress past peak performance, we move into imbalance and performance breaks down. When we or people we care about experience that overload, what can be done?
Last month, we explored boosting our strengths and coping skills, and that is always good practice. However, if the stress continues to feel overwhelming and insurmountable, it can be helpful to add additional resources. The good news is that resources abound. There are numerous apps and online supports available to help with stress management, and many can be accessed at low or no cost. Just a few links are provided here:
Should we need them, professional supports are also available in our community. If you or someone you care about is struggling with overwhelming stress or anxiety, professionals can be found that can offer help and support. Treatment is possible and accessible. Possible professionals that can offer support include but are not limited to:
If you need help finding a resource, please consider contacting your family doctor or call the counseling office anytime.
This is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year for students, parents, and admissions representatives all across the nation. The first round (early action, early decision) of college applications are due, and everyone wants to know the secrets on how to get into universities all around the country. The National Association for College Admission Counseling releases a report every year with responses from college admissions representatives and secondary school counselors on what they consider to be the most important factors in college admissions. At the bottom of this segment there are links that will take you to the data reports.
According to the research, the top three factors that are of considerable importance to universities are: Grades in all courses, grades in college prep courses, and the strength of a student’s curriculum. Colleges and universities want to see how students perform in their classes, and are they challenging themselves with a rigorous curriculum. There are other factors that are mentioned in the study that have importance in the admissions decision, so please look through those as well.
The research also stated that institutions that were more selective placed more emphasis on grades in college prep courses and the strength of curriculum. Those colleges also rated more highly on the essay/writing samples, counselor and teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities, and work. The report also provides information on the increase in applications across the country, and the admittance rate among certain institutions. The national average acceptance rate for all four-year institutions in the country was 66.7% in the fall of 2017. From 2017 to 2018, the amount of applications from first-time freshman increased by 6%.
If you would like more information on this report, or other college admissions related data please click on the links below.
Nov. 4th – 10th Grade: Game of Life (7th Hour)
Nov. 5th – 10th Grade: Game of Life (7th Hour)
Nov. 5th – Sources of Strength (7th Hour)
Nov. 6th – 10th Grade: Game of Life (7th Hour)
Nov. 9th – D’Evelyn Open House (9am – 12pm)
Nov. 11th – Scholarship Workshop (7th Hour)
Nov. 12th – Counseling Advisory Council Meeting (2:45 pm)
Nov. 15th – Girls Mentoring (7th Hour)
Nov. 19th – Sources of Strength (7th Hour)
Nov. 20th – Student Voice (7th Hour)
Nov. 21th – New 8th/9th Group (7th Hour)
Nov. 22nd – Boys Mentoring (7th Hour)
Nov. 25th – 29th – Thanksgiving Break
Early Application Deadlines
‘Tis the season for early application deadlines! Seniors please pay attention to those deadlines as some have come and gone, and others are due soon. The majority of universities that have early application deadlines will have due dates on or around: Nov. 1st, Nov. 15th, and December 1st. If you need any assistance for those applications please feel free to stop by the counseling office. Also be sure to ask teachers for letters of recommendation sooner rather than later. They typically need at least 2 weeks to construct a letter for you. They will need the req questionnaire found on Naviance to be able to complete your letter.
Everyone wants to find a cheap way to attend college. There are a million scholarships out there and the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Counseling will be hosting a scholarship workshop for students on November 11th. During 7th hour we will meet in the counseling office to go over where to search for scholarships, the DEF scholarships, and give students time to apply for scholarships. We will also introduce students to Going Merry. This is a non-profit organization, created by graduate students from Stanford, to help students through the scholarship process. This program is known as the common app for scholarships. They have a computer system that matches all of the students’ data to scholarships across the country. Students do not have to sign up for this program, however, we believe it will be a great resource for students when looking for scholarships.
We Are Looking For Candy Donations!
As a counseling department we try to make our activities fun and relaxing for students at the end of the day. One of the ways we do this is by engaging them in activities and conversation with prizes to be given away. The most common and fan favorite of prizes is candy. Unfortunately, with the counseling budget candy and other treats are hard to come by. We are looking for candy bag donations for this upcoming school year. After a long day of working in the classroom we want to provide the students with a treat before they leave for the day. We would greatly appreciate any type of candy bag donation. If you are able to help support our program please drop any candy you have to donate off in the counseling office with Sue Brown, or any counselor available. We want to thank every single one of you for your support!
We are currently in the beginning of college visit mayhem! From the beginning of September to the end of October, college representatives from around the country spend two months flying all over the country to attend schools and college fairs. Typically every university and college will have a college representative whose territory is the state of Colorado or a specific region in Colorado. Those representatives, who will also be the representatives who read your students college applications, will be coming to either D’Evelyn or a college fair nearby within the next two months. We want to emphasize the importance of you and your student visiting with these representatives when they come into town. Below are a list of reasons why students should meet with their representatives:
NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) FAIR Week
The NACAC Fairs come to Denver every year, typically around early October. College admissions representatives travel from all around the country to try and be at the same place at the same time. These fairs have hundreds of colleges represented from in-state schools to out-of-state schools. The fairs are located at different sites throughout the course of the week. The first fair, an all out-of-state fair, will be on October 2nd at Monarch High School from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The next fair, another all out-of-state fair, will be on October 3rd at Lakewood High School from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. The final fair, an in-state and out-of-state fair will be at Mountain Vista High School on October 5th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. For more information about the fairs and a list of all the schools attending please visit www.collegefairsdenver.org.
Attention students! We have over 50 college visits already scheduled for this school year. We need students to begin signing up to meet with the college representatives who are CHOOSING to come to D’Evelyn to meet with all of you! College visits are available for all students to attend, and we want to have every 10th – 12th grade student to sign up for at least five college visits and every 7th-9th grade student sign up for at least one visit. Students can sign up in the Counseling office. Here are a list of colleges coming over the next two weeks:
Our goal is to encourage students to look at the big picture of their future and provide them with new suggestions, advice, and encouragement as they explore their new goals. Our goal is to help students recognize there is more to the college process than grades. Even though grades are very important, we want students to discover their strengths, their interests, and their passion to help them be successful when high school ends. We have the privilege to collaborate with some of the best staff, parents, and community members in the state to help our students reach their maximum potential. We are very excited for the school year, and to watch students grow as they continue their journey through D’Evelyn.
Sept. 16th – 7th Grade Anti-Bullying (7th Hour)
Sept. 17th – 7th Grade Anti-Bullying (7th Hour)
Sept. 18th – Coffee with the Counselors (7:30 am)
Sept. 18th – 7th Grade Anti-Bullying (7th Hour)
Sept. 19th – 7th Grade Anti-Bullying (7th Hour)
Sept. 20th – No School for Students
Sept. 23rd – 7th Grade ICAP (7th Hour)
Sept. 23rd – College Essay Revision Workshop (7th Hour)
Sept. 24th – 7th Grade ICAP (7th Hour)
Sept. 24th – Sources of Strength (7th Hour)
Sept. 25th – 7th Grade ICAP (7th Hour)
Sept. 26th – 7th Grade ICAP (7th Hour)
Sept. 26th – New 8th/9th Grade Students Group (7th Hour)
Sept. 27th – Boys Mentoring (7th Hour)
Sept. 27th – Girls Mentoring (7th Hour)
We Are Looking For Candy Donations!
As a counseling department we try to make our activities fun and relaxing for students at the end of the day. One of the ways we do this is by engaging them in activities and conversation with prizes to be given away. The most common and fan favorite of prizes is candy. Unfortunately, with the counseling budget candy and other treats are hard to come by. We are looking for candy bag donations for this upcoming school year. After a long day of working in the classroom we want to provide the students with a treat before they leave for the day. We would greatly appreciate any type of candy bag donation. If you are able to help support our program please drop any candy you have to donate off in the counseling office with Kathy Hays, or any counselor available. We want to thank every single one of you for your support!
We will be holding multiple workshops and activities throughout the year during 7th hour to help make the college process easier. Please keep an eye and ear out for our common application workshops, college essay workshops, scholarship workshops, and senior class meetings. We will be addressing all of your questions and concerns during this time, as well as meeting with you all individually to solidify your plan. This can be a very overwhelming time of the year, and we are here to help make the process go smoother. Do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor for questions.
You will most likely need letters of recommendation for your college applications. Be sure to ask your teachers as soon as possible, and give them at least two weeks to complete the letter. You will need to provide them with the rec questionnaire, which can be found on the Naviance homepage at the bottom. You will also need to request a letter from them through Naviance. Be sure to ask them in person as well. Most teachers will not write you a letter if you do not ask them in person! If you have any questions about this process please contact your counselor.
This will be a year full of ups and downs, with the most exciting up being you are almost to your senior year. During your junior year one of the most important pieces to focus on is your academics and the SAT. Our goal is to make sure you have all of the resources you need to be successful on the SAT and how to improve your scores. Even though junior year is known as the most difficult we want to make sure you have time to enjoy the activities you participate in, and prepare for the next level.
If you have any questions about college, the process, the SAT, Khan Academy, or just how to navigate through junior year please feel free to stop by and see your counselor. For most schools you will apply to they need a letter of recommendation from your counselor. We enjoy getting to know you all so our letters can be as outstanding as you are.
This is an important year to start discovering your interests, and what excites you about life outside of school. Starting to gain a stronger understanding of what you’re interested in will help you as you move along in the college/career process. We will be meeting with you all multiple times throughout the year, and we will mostly focus on the exploration of careers, your strengths, and how we can combine those to help you discover what you want to do after high school. We will be hosting lunch career sessions throughout the year, and sophomores and freshmen are required to attend at least one session. As counselors, we are always here to help you with any issues that arise throughout your time at school, and if you have any concerns outside of school. Please do not hesitate to come see your counselor if you need any assistance.
This is the year that grades really begin to count towards your college transcript. We highly encourage you all to get off to a strong start, and work hard in all of your classes. We will be meeting with you all multiple times throughout the year to talk about goal setting, how to plan for success, the importance of freshman year, and how to prepare your next 4 years to have a strong college application. Our goal is to help you all be successful in and out of school. This is a great time to start learning more about your likes and dislikes. We encourage you to begin exploring career options and what your interests are. We will be hosting lunch career sessions throughout the year, and all freshmen and sophomores are required to attend at least one session. If you ever need any assistance please do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor.
Let us continue our discussion of stress and anxiety. It is a growing concern, and therefore will be a focus for us in this forum in the weeks to come. Information will be provided here about stress, anxiety, and coping. There will be information provided regarding what we can do for ourselves, as well as how we can support our children and students as they learn what helps them.
The intention is to provide information and resources, which will be available if and when it is needed. Please know that if you need more information or more support at any time, you can contact your social emotional learning specialist or counselor in the counseling office, your family doctor, mental health professional in the community, or other support person whenever you need to do so.
As we explore this topic in this way this year, let’s start by remembering one very important fact: stress is not inherently negative. I am concerned that this fact has gotten lost in our concern about rising rates of anxiety. While rising rates of anxiety are concerning, and we need to consider this trend, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that stress is a natural and necessary part of our lives. Understanding the need for stress and how it enriches our lives can offer important perspective that actually helps us when we are facing stressful situations. The graphic to the left, from Cornell University, reminds us that we need some tension to perform. Without any measure of stress, there is no performance. Of course, too much leads to imbalance and the possibility of breakdown, but too little provides no opportunity for performance and growth. It can be immediately helpful to remember that stress provides the impetus for us to challenge ourselves and to learn new things. Without it, growth would slow.
Growing coping skills and learning to move through stress and employ strength in the face of stressful situations can help to inoculate us to the more negative impacts of stress and build greater resilience. Stress does not become unhealthy until it is more than we can handle. Dr. Lisa Damour states, “Whether or not a stressor harms well-being has surprisingly little to do with the source of the stress and much more to do with whether adequate resources - personal, emotional, social, or financial - are available to address the problem.” Therefore, it is important for each of us to concentrate on growing strength, resources, and resilience. This will enable us to weather the stressors we face in our daily lives.
As we think about growing strengths and coping skills, we may want to start thinking about growing the things that have worked for us before and trying new things that feel like they could be helpful. What are the things that help us to weather daily and other life stressors? The list of strengths and coping skills is a long one, thankfully, and everyone’s list will look a little different, but a few things to consider that are supported by research include:
These are but a few of the ways that we can increase our capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities of our days. We will continue to think about resources and coping skills as we continue to consider this topic.