So you’re waiting for mid-March when colleges will release a flood of seemingly life-defining decisions. Some people in your school are probably already wearing their college sweatshirts proudly, but you haven’t heard anything back or settled on a college yet. Thinking about when decisions will be released and where you’ll end up for the next four years and checking your email obsessively may be keeping you up at night. All of us instructors and essay coaches at LogicPrep were likely in your shoes. But as I wait for my students to send me the news, I have been thinking about what an infernal few months that was for me. Since hindsight is 20/20, I’ll share some tips about what to do, and what not do, that I wish I knew at the time.
Dive deep into non-academic hobbies
I applied for college during a gap year, so I had plenty of time on my hands to freak out over what admissions officers might be thinking about my application. I found that one of my favorite hobbies, playing music, was an invaluable tool for escape. I would call up the members of my band and kind of force them to jam with me for hours on end. These hours flew by much quicker than hours scrolling online, and we got a lot better in the process! Even if you don’t play music, find something hands-on and physical to do that isn’t academic. It will get those endorphins flowing and help pass the time.
Try not to let negative decisions inform your chances elsewhere
I was rejected from about 6 colleges before I got into one. I will never forget my first rejection email from UCLA while I was out to a friend’s birthday dinner. It was like a kick in the gut, and the hits just kept coming. I would receive “We are sorry to inform you…” over and over in the next few months, and I began to question my literal value as a person based on those emails. It’s easier said than done, but try not to let these get you down. Remember, all you need is one acceptance you’re happy with!
Volunteer your time somewhere
This sounds sort of fluffy and moralizing, but it actually helped me a great deal when I was waiting for decisions. When you volunteer your time to some sort of cause you are passionate about, you are removing your “self” from the equation for a while. I don’t know about you, but when I have too much time to sit around and think about myself, it gets exhausting quickly. Chances are you just did a lot of that while crafting your essays and figuring out how to present yourself to colleges, so give yourself a break!
DO NOT go on student forums
I really wish I had followed this rule. Sights like CollegeConfidential can seem indispensable for gleaning insight to cultures on different campuses, and often they are, but they can also be highly toxic. Threads of students giving other students “chances” on getting in based on their statistics seem to exasperate the stress they already face. I remember reading students who should have been Nobel Laureates posting their accomplishments and feeling like a nobody. Do yourself a favor and leave the decisions up to admissions committees, because these websites can really make the wait that much longer.
I know you might be thinking, “Well this is easy for you to say since you’ve gone to college and it worked out well for you”, and I used to say the same thing to my mentor when he would tell me to chill out while I was awaiting decisions. I promise if you can do just one thing on this list, it will make these next couple of months that much easier!