How to Win the College Waiting Game

on January 25, 2017

No matter the college or the deadline, the process of college admissions always involves waiting. After submitting your application, you’re forced to sit back in anticipation. Throughout these months (or weeks, if their admission is rolling), it will be difficult not to grow anxious. Rather than checking your top college’s website every 10 minutes for updates, you can be proactive while you wait.


Make a Notification Dates Calendar


Create a calendar of any notification dates that colleges provide. Typically, colleges won’t deviate from this schedule; though it’s possible some will release results a few days early. If you know when to expect the news, it can ease your nerves by removing this element of uncertainty.


Submit All Application Materials on Time


Double check that all of your application materials were properly submitted. Usually, colleges send you a confirmation email message when you application is complete. That said, it’s best to review everything yourself for your own peace of mind. Many colleges will not consider late or incomplete applications — you want everything to be submitted in a timely fashion.


Take Advantage of the Waiting Period


College admissions can be somewhat arbitrary, since there are so many factors that contribute to an admission committee’s decision. If you're rejected from a college, know that it wasn't necessarily a rejection of you personally, but rather that they were looking to fill a specific student profile.


If you’re deferred, you can update the university with everything that you've been doing since you applied. By using this waiting period to maintain (or improve) your grades and continue excelling at your extracurricular activities, you'll be able to convey to colleges that even when no one is watching you, you’re still hard at work.


Reflect on Your Admissions Experience


Reflect on the possibilities before you. In a worst-case scenario, you might not be accepted at your first-choice college. Apply to a few safety schools as a backup. You need to become comfortable with the other options that will be available to you in that situation — they are opportunities, too.


Finally, thank everyone who has helped and supported you along the way. Remember that although the waiting period is an emotional experience, it is also exciting: It’s a new chapter in your life.

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