Thousands of seniors – like you – each year muster the energy and strength needed to tackle college applications. You’ve spent years studying into the late hours of the night for your classes and standardized tests, and participated in various extracurricular and volunteer experiences. You have devoted countless hours researching school websites and touring multiple colleges and universities across the country. This is no small feat! Preparing to apply for college is exhausting and overwhelming, to say the least, and you should take a moment (well, several moments) to acknowledge all that you have accomplished up to this point.

You may notice a range of difficult and, at times, conflicting emotions that have accompanied you during the college application process. Once you hit the submit button, you may feel anxious, have an overwhelming sense of self-doubt, and even experience sadness. You may question whether or not you selected the right schools or you may doubt your chances of acceptance.

Please know that it is normal to feel anxious or stressed while waiting for admissions decisions. All applicants experience some level of uneasiness during the waiting period. Common sources of anxiety during this time include: worrying over family expectations; comparing your admissions results with peers; or a general lack of self-confidence. In most cases, such thoughts aren’t caused by external factors but rather internalized by you. If you find yourself increasingly overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, shame, or jealousy, take a step back and view the bigger picture. Appreciate how far you have come and enjoy the fact that you completed the application process. If you need further support, avail yourself of the resources and support networks your school or community provides.

After you submit your applications, consider the following:

  • Limit contact with admissions officials. Keep in mind they are reading thousands of applications each cycle. Constantly calling or emailing admissions officers takes precious time away from evaluating applications and does not speed up the process. More importantly, though, this kind of behavior could leave a negative impression of you with admissions officers and, in many cases, negatively influence your admissions results.
  • Now is not the time to slack off! All schools still require applicants to submit senior year grades before matriculation. These scores can have an impact on your chances of receiving merit-based scholarships. Further, if you’re waitlisted, your senior grades after January matter. Finally, if you decide to transfer universities after your first year of college, your full high school transcript will be required. Fight the urge to take it easy! Instead, continue taking your school’s rigorous courses and do your best to earn the highest grades possible.
  • Let it go! Trust you have done all you can to be a competitive applicant. Take some time to celebrate the fact that you applied to many schools. Applying in itself is a huge achievement. Use your newfound downtime to hang out with friends, spend time with loved ones, and indulge in hobbies you neglected to finish the applications.
About the author
Kristina Williams

Kristina is a Senior College Counselor at AcceptU. She received a BA from Binghamton University, an M.A from University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Kristina has college admissions experience at Cornell University, in addition to more than seven years of higher education and teaching experience.

Join an upcoming webinar
Download a resource guide