This blog was written by one of AdmissionsCheckup’s former Ivy League admissions officer.
If you just submitted an application for early decision or early action, then you must be breathing a big sigh of relief. That’s a big step toward college acceptance! But for many kids, no sooner do they click “send” then the next big hurdle hits them: the long wait until a decision comes back.
Regardless of what the decision will be, life goes on. Try to stop worrying about what you did or did not write. If you’ve hit “submit”, then that particular phase is out of your hands. What do you do now that you have weeks of waiting ahead of you?
Take time to write a note of thanks to the teachers who wrote you a letter of recommendation. They spent time not only teaching you and guiding your development, but they spent precious free time to support your college application. They’ve been thinking good thoughts about you – and heaping praise on you in their letters – so express your appreciation!
Check in with your counselor
In addition to writing recommendations, counselors are responsible for sending transcripts and school profile information that are also important to an applicant’s file. In a few weeks perhaps you’ll be able to share good news with them. But if you are deferred or denied, you will need your counselor’s support again, and even more. Thank them now!
Start to think about what else you can do to keep collecting good news in your activities portfolio. If you are deferred, you’ll want to have some new information to send to that school to urge a better decision in the spring. You should have plans about applications for regular decision deadlines, if you should need them. It is good to know you still have good options if a college acceptance doesn’t go your way.
Don’t Let Up on Studies
Keep working hard in your classes. Grades for all seniors are important, whether they have a letter of acceptance or not. It is absolutely true that schools have cancelled college acceptances based on poor grades or bad behavior. Also keep tabs on senior antics displayed on social media.
Be a Friend
Now is a good time to practice compassion and empathy. Everyone is feeling the stress of waiting, no matter how confident or successful they may appear. And keep perspective – in the midst of news about all kinds of natural disasters, try to remember that hoping to get into college is a great problem to have!
Be at peace with the wait. You’ve put a lot of effort into this application, and you want the admissions office to give it careful consideration. That takes time, so you have to be patient. If you can accept that there is a reason for how long it takes, it may help you to be less anxious. Some people find counting down time helps them feel that it will not last forever. Other people find that watching the clock makes them more tense.
Gift of Time
Appreciate this gift of time. Senior year is a very busy time for most kids and the hectic pace can fly by in a blur. Try to pause and savor this unique chapter of your life. It really is a very small amount of time in the grand scheme of things!
Your hard work of looking inward, figuring out who you are, and who you want to become should be a rewarding process. No matter how the college acceptance letters turn out, this is the real work of growing up.
For tips on how to handle senior year stress, read our blog post.
Photo Credit: BrianAJackson