Perfectionism and the College Application Process

Perfectionism and the College Application Process

Perfectionism and applying to college don’t mix! 

A quote from Angela Duckworth exemplifies precisely why:

Perfectionistic people work hard but unsustainably so. They often find themselves in the sapping zone of diminishing and inverse returns to their efforts.

We work with many students who have perfectionist tendencies. These students spend extreme amounts of time focusing on aspects of the college process that have little to no ROI. We see this in parents, too! 

There is no such thing as a perfect college application because there is no such thing as a perfect applicant. 

Our work also highlights another one of her sentiments: perfectionists tend to self-sabotage because they retreat when things get tough or they sense imminent “failure” instead of reaching out for help. This one always gets us because we exist to help. 

Perfectionists are world champions at self-sabotage. When things get tough, when it looks like failure is heading their way, the anticipated shame and embarrassment are so fierce that perfectionistic people are reluctant to put forth any further effort that might allow others to discover their shortcomings. So, they procrastinate or simply give up to ward off fears of failure.

Perfectionism doesn’t lead to success. It’s also exhausting. If you struggle with it, seek out help before you get too deep into your college app journey—students and parents! 

*Stay in the know! Subscribe*