Dec. 14, 2016. I clicked “submit” on the Common Application for two schools. Smiling with relief, I leaned back in my chair. Then, I thought, now what? I have to wait for three whole months?
Yes, many college application deadlines have passed. Now, like me, seniors everywhere are waiting for college acceptances.
The wait will be long. It will be tedious. It will be tense. It will try to eat you up with anxiety. The stress of anticipation will slowly set in and March will seem to be an excruciating two months away. However, waiting for a college decision doesn’t have to be such a terrible process.
Don’t dwell on the what-ifs. There is nothing you can do anymore to improve your application now that you’ve clicked “submit.” Stay positive and don’t bombard yourself with thoughts of “what if I don’t get in,” “what if I get waitlisted,” and so on. You’ve already done your part by filling in the application, and let the admissions offices do theirs by seeing the person that you are when they read your application. Do not go back to your applications, find a mistake or something that could’ve been added, and torture the brain for the following weeks. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done with the applications.
Distract yourself. Immerse yourself in your already-existing hobbies, or pick up some new ones. Colleges have emphasized on focusing on your passions during high school; continue building upon them. Find new hobbies as well. Do something you’ve always been interested in, but never found the time or effort to try. I, for one, have decided it’s high time to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube after leaving it abandoned for nearly ten years.
Being a senior in second semester doesn’t mean you’re a lame duck. There is still time to join and form clubs to contribute to the school. Do some more community service. Make your last semester count.
Apply for scholarships. Even if you’ve applied for FAFSA and/or CSS, always having extra money to pay for college is never a bad idea. I have heard seniors in the past muttering that they wish they’d known how important scholarships are. Use College Board and your college counselor as resources to find these scholarships.
Fight the senioritis! The notorious senioritis, if it hasn’t hit yet, hits after college applications in most cases. The realization of having more time without the stress of 11th-grade SAT and ACTs and college applications does not equal slacking off. Keep yourself busy in school and strive to continue the good work just like past semesters. Dropping grades will reflect on colleges and, in some cases, colleges can revoke acceptances if grades become dismally low. School is still as important since there are still AP tests and final grades.
Do more research on the colleges you’ve applied to. The more you know about the college, the easier it will be to make a decision when that time comes.
Thank the teachers and counselors who wrote letters of recommendation for you. Since those teachers know you well and were willing to use their free time to write a glowing recommendation for your colleges, thank them for their help and dedication. Also, as a senior, write letters to the rest of your teachers (and mentors, etc.) to thank them; you wouldn’t be the student you are today without their guidance. (Teacher Appreciation Day is May 2, so use this time before acceptances so you don’t rush to finish letters on the evening of May 1!)
Enjoy homemade food (unless you’re definitely going to school ten miles away from home.) Going to college out of state or even in another in-state city miles and miles away will mean having to eat dining hall food day after day, and eating in restaurants. Homemade food will become a blessing to behold before long.
Enjoy senior year. Relax. Hang out with friends, hug your family, and just be happy. You won’t have this opportunity of second semester of senior year forever. Make memories that you’ll carry to college.
Before long, March will finally come, and until then, fingers crossed, go forth, and conquer!