Picture this—or actually just think about the last few weeks you have had anticipating your admission decisions, interview invitations, or final acceptance letters. After sending off your college applications, that familiar sense of anxiety and apprehension clawing at the pit of our stomach is truly no stranger to any of us. Given all that is at stake, our fears and insecurities are quite justifiable, as these are the moments that could define you and will be the reward for all your schooling and hard work over the last few years!
As daunting and exciting as these times are, it’s important to maintain a calm demeanor and have a positive outlook toward the future. Don’t suffer in silence during this period. Instead, try to make the best of the situation to maintain your sanity. Here are a few tips that can help.
Don’t overthink everything
Human beings aren’t always rational, least of all high school seniors during this stressful time. Sometimes we just need to take a nice step back and evaluate the situation with more clarity. Usually frustration is what causes this time to be so exasperating. It takes a great deal of our mental and emotional strength from us. Losing sleep and sanity over your college applications may not be the best option in this case, as it only gives rise to more pressure, late nights, and tension. Find confidence in your efforts, because you solely have the capacity to reflect on the actions and choices that you make.
So, once you press the “send” button, remember that your job is done, and the rest is left to fate and a little bit of luck as well. All you need to get you through those moments is a little faith.
Find a good distraction
From experience, given the stressful nature of the situation, it’s extremely important to ensure we carry on with our work and stick to our schedules. When I was awaiting my college decisions, agonized though I was, I felt that investing my mental strengths in my other work and projects did me a great deal of good, as it kept me busy. So quit spending time monitoring your e-mails so closely! It’s beneficial to take your mind off the source of your stress so that you don’t neglect the rest of your commitments. The world doesn’t stop, and life goes on, doesn’t it?
Try to weigh your options
This is very important both before and after you send off your applications. Hopefully you applied to a good number of safety, reach, and dream schools. So try thinking about the various possibilities and all the options to consider. Being pragmatic is equally as necessary as being optimistic, as expectations can sometimes be very precarious. Always ensure that you have options to fall back on in case things don’t go as planned. Back-up options can be of great help in this way, as they offer you a great deal of comfort and security.
Continue to do your research
Should you be successful in your endeavors, it’s essential to continue looking into your choices and doing final research about each university. Look into essential aspects like boarding, accessibility, accommodations, internship opportunities, campus safety, and student satisfaction. Your final college decision isn’t limited to simply getting into your dream university, but meeting the conditional requirements and realizing the institution where you would like to make a life for yourself. It is necessary to think about the kind of student you would like to be and the experience you plan on having.
And after—move on
When they say that time heals all wounds, I don’t think they’re entirely wrong. Despite all that waiting and the hard work, we may get a flat-out rejection. At first glance, a rejection letter can be a crushing blow, not only to your self-esteem but to your ambitions as well. For many, coming out of that overwhelming grief can take a while—but moving on and looking to another path can do you a lot of good. Don’t question what you did or could have done differently. Finding another route you’re passionate about can restore your optimism. If your first option doesn’t work out, look to the second, make the most of it, and dedicate yourself to it.
Moreover, speaking from personal experience, take comfort and solace in your friends and loved ones to get through this time. A lot of us are in the same boat, after all. Rant, rage, share your feelings, and do your best to get over the disappointment. Bottling up your feelings does you no good and leaves you more vulnerable and bitter.
Above all, remember that these few months are a series of events, a manifestation of a major milestone in your life: finally going off to college, getting a degree, and carving out a path for yourself. At the end of the day, looking back, this whole college admission experience may be nothing but a sum of the parts that make us whole.