The college admissions process is a huge undertaking, and submitting your applications is a great achievement. Regardless of your admissions decisions, you should feel proud and celebrate this accomplishment. You can finally study for your next test, go to the movies with your friends, or read for pleasure without that little voice in your head (or perhaps a parent or counselor) reminding you that you should be working on your college applications.
However, we know that the period after you’ve submitted those applications can be even more stressful than actually writing your essays or taking standardized tests. So what can you (and should you) do while you wait?
Now is a great time to reflect on your college applications and the college search process thus far. What have you learned? Have your ideas about what you thought you wanted in an education or in life changed? If so, how? What did you discover about yourself by choosing topics for college essays and writing about yourself? What would you change about the college admission process if given the chance? Writing college applications is not just about gaining admission. It is also about assessing where you have been, where you are, and where you would like to go. Hopefully you have learned something about yourself that you will take with you, no matter where you end up this fall.
Though you probably think that your college research is behind you, use this time to dig a little deeper. If you feel as if you only have a few schools on your list that you would be happy attending, spend some time continuing your research on the schools to which you applied that you know less about. This research will help you get excited about many options and prepare you for the ultimate decision of where to enroll. If you have any interviews coming up, the research will help you prepare for them (as will this month’s article on interview tips!).
Avoid senioritis at all costs! Although your applications are in and you may be tempted to cruise through the remainder of senior year, you need to show consistency and commitment in both your academics and your activities! All college acceptance letters clearly state that the offer of admission is contingent on your maintaining the same level of personal excellence that made you such a compelling applicant in the first place. If you are waitlisted, you will want to update the colleges on anything new you have accomplished since you submitted your applications and show that you have put forth every effort during your remaining time in high school.
The college admissions process takes an enormous amount of time and work. Now that you have submitted your applications, you can enjoy the coming spring, hang out with your friends, and go to prom – all while maintaining your grades and activities so you don’t give colleges any reason to question their decision. You can be proud of not only your application efforts, but also of continuing to make an impact in and out of the classroom long after you pressed “Submit.”