Tips to Ease the Stress of Waiting for College Admissions Decisions

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Nshss College Tour

Noah Alexander Fanous
Harvard 2019
NSHSS Student Council

As the college admissions season comes to an end and senioritis becomes a chronic condition that invariably affects your entire high school experience, one thing that won’t disappear is your desire to find out which colleges accept you. Over the last three months, you’ve crafted what you, your school, and for some, your parents, view as the most put together image of yourself: three-sport athlete? Check. Community service experience? Check. Inspirational essay with seamless laugh and cry moments? Check.

You know the drill, but what happens after you’ve clicked send and the fate of your future is sent to a selection committee that has never met you? Even though you’ve done everything you could, you still can’t ignore your desire to know where you’re going to spend the next four years! It’s exciting, but how do you spend the next few months waiting for something so amazing? Here are three experiences that I went through while waiting for my admissions decisions.

1. Everyone is getting accepted to their dream schools early.

If you’re like every other senior in the United States, you have a mental list of two to three schools that you’ve dreamed of going to forever!! Some of you have aspirations for the Ivy League, Stanford, or MIT, while the many of you are vying for spots at your state universities. You’re supposed to hear back around March or (gasp!) April 1, but some of your fellow classmates decided to apply early decision or early action and have received a response back.  The thoughts that went through my head were: “How could they accept me when they’ve already accepted someone from my school?” Or, “Serena is much more qualified than I am and was deferred, why would they accept me?” My advice for this is think about what the purpose of the process is in the first place: to find the perfect match for you, not Serena, not your parents, and not the school that you’ve been told is the best. What happens will happen and you’ll love wherever you end up.

2. You’ve been deferred, rejected, or wait-listed.

One of the toughest parts of the college admission process is getting denied, deferred, or wait-listed from a school. On a more personal level, I’ve always found that talking with friends and family or just praying has been the most helpful for me.   If you’re accepted, you’re accepted. If you’re denied or deferred, it just wasn’t meant to happen and you’ll find a better fit elsewhere! Who needs them anyway? Am I right?

3. So many classes, but so much free time.

As the school year winds down and AP exam season picks up, you might ask yourself, “Why should I care about this exam or class?” I’ll reaffirm what your school has told you: schools can take back their decisions if you don’t do as well in the final semester.  In addition, you’ve paid a good amount of money for IB or AP testing and what’s the point in taking a class that you could get college credit in if you bomb the most important component: the exam?

I know it’s hard to wait, but just remember: it wouldn’t matter so much to you if it wasn’t so important! Good luck this admissions season and wherever you end up, know that it’s for the best!