The stretch of time in between college application submission and notification of results from said applications feels one billion eternities carefully disguised into the span of several months. Symptoms that can result from this dreaded waiting period include anxiety, laziness (or complete and utter inability to bring yourself to do work anymore, as I prefer to call it), overthinking, isolation from friends and family, and unnecessary stress. For all of these reasons and many more, this chapter of senior year can be incredibly overwhelming and uncertain. However, there are a few ways that you can maintain your sanity until the end of March.
- Step out of your comfort zone at school
Whether its auditioning for the spring musical, organizing a protest, talking to a new group of people, or joining a sports team with your friends, doing something to break routine can be the perfect way to pull you out of your slump. Not only will this give you something new to work towards and be excited about, you could potentially create some amazing new relationships or find something you never thought you’d be good at. Even more, stepping out of your comfort zone is going to be crucial during your freshman year of college. Second semester of senior year and the following summer are perfect opportunities to get some practice in.
- Set goals for yourself
While you should be doing everything you can to set and achieve the academic goals that will ensure that you pass all of your classes (despite raging having senioritis, this is honestly a résumé worthy accomplishment), having non-school related goals can help to take your mind off of the gigantic, looming college-acceptance-letter-shaped shadow that now seems to follow you around everywhere. For me, a fast food loving, naturally curly haired girl who can only be spotted wearing her hair natural once in a blue moon, these goals were to eat clean and not straighten my hair until March 31st (when decision letters usually come out). Though unexpectedly painful and difficult, they helped my health, my hair, and to keep me busy and instead of constantly obsessing over college. So, set goals for yourself! Anything, and I mean anything is better than rocking back and forth in front of College Confidential at 4 A.M. convincing yourself that the only way you can get into your top choice is if you go back in time and invent Facebook. I’m not speaking from personal experience, or anything.
- Stay organized
Organization is not as easy as that girl in your third period who color codes her notes in ROY G BIV order makes it seem. To start, however, I suggest getting a day planner and a wall calendar. Day planners are lifesavers when it comes to remembering assignments, extracurriculars, work schedules, and family obligations on a day-to-day basis. Wall calendars help you to visualize impending obligations instead of freezing in the middle of a Game of Thrones binge watch because you realize you had a job interview that started 20 minutes ago. Not only is this super good practice for your first semester of college, A.K.A. the first time in some of our lives when we won’t have our mom’s frantic triple texts to remind us of nearly-missed appointments, it will help you combat laziness with preparation. Extreme procrastination can become your worst enemy when you start consistently missing class deadlines. It’s important to keep in mind that second semester grades aren’t a free for all. Don’t let your End of Year transcript come back to haunt you. Don’t get rescinded. Don’t be that guy.
- Spend time with the people around you
In the all-consuming fog of college uncertainties, becoming distant from your close friends and family isn’t hard. If you keep this up until the day that acceptance letter is in your hands, however, you’ve already lost several months that you could’ve been appreciating with people that you might only see a few times a year next school year. The second semester of senior year is your last official hurrah with your high school best friends. As corny and 90’s teen movie as it sounds, make sure you soak up every possible minute with them. When you’re sitting in a classroom full of strangers next September, inside jokes and almost getting kicked out of class for laughing too hard will definitely be missed. The same with your family; no matter how much any member of your household has annoyed you over the past four years (or your lifetime, for that matter), appreciate the time you have left living under the same roof–it could be the last time!
Basically, you should be excited about starting a new chapter of your life. But not so much that you completely zone out of your last semester, become a slave to stress, anxiety, and laziness, and float through life in an isolated bubble until the very moment you walk across the stage at graduation. You’ve come this far. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. It’ll be over soon.