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How to Survive the Wait for College Decisions

On Jan. 15th, I finally pressed submit on my last Common Application school. I expected to feel a wave of relief, some calming force relieving the anxiety that has been building up inside me for months. Instead, I felt worse.

I started to look back at all my applications and wonder if I did anything wrong. I wondered if my essay was too cliche, if my descriptions of my extra curricular activities did not sound “impactful” enough, if I came across like me.

To help you until late March when college decisions are sent out, I decided to share some things to do and not to do to make the wait more bearable:

1. Do not re-visit your application. It is already turned in. It is now out of your hands. Do not go back and re-read the essays you turned in or freak out about how you formatted your resume. (Pro-tip: have a parent or friend change your Common Application portal to cut off the temptation.)

2. Do keep up your grades and activities! The application is out of your hands, yes, but you still need to keep up with your classes. Don’t succumb to seniorities. Also, keeping busy by channeling your stress into a sport or club can really help!

3. Do not spend hours perusing college forums like College Confidential. Just don’t do it. It will make you start to question every choice you made.

4. Do write down the things you love about each of the schools you applied to. Not just the dream schools – get excited about your safety schools too. Do they have a super fun orientation week? Special food in the dining halls? A unique club you are dying to participate in? This will help you remember why you like your schools, which will make your decision later on easier.

Most importantly, make sure to practice self-care. Senior year can be a really stressful time, but it is also your last. Savor it. Make sure to have those fun moments with your friends because you probably won’t see them next year. But that’s okay, because you will be off doing amazing things.

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Julie is a senior at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. On an average afternoon, you can find her drowning in homework, stuck in between the pages of an enthralling novel, or debating about politics.

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