Five Things to do While Waiting for College Admission Decisions

All your applications have been submitted. Congratulations. What you are now experiencing is the reward you get for 3 ½ years of very focused work all leading up to this moment. However, you may also be feeling the college admission equivalent of postpartum depression. If so, you are not alone. Once all the pressure associated with applying to college is removed, it is quite natural for a unique emptiness to envelop you. This can be confusing and disconcerting. And be fairly warned that a little subconscious devil within you is anxious to fill that void by convincing you that, from this point forward, anything goes! Let the debauchery begin. Wild parties, late nights and video games galore. Classes?  Homework? Tests?  Who cares! Colleges won’t see them anyway, right? 

Wrong! Colleges will ask for your senior year transcript as proof of graduation. They also have the right to rescind an admission offer if you fail to perform at or near the same level as you have in the past. So, the concept of “senior slump” is a fallacy. The term “second-half senior” is obsolete. You can’t take your foot off the gas even for a moment. You cannot go off on some wild unabashed emotional release party either literally or through social media. You cannot say anything you want, do anything you want, or be anyone you want. The truth is that you must continue to be the same student that you have been over the past 3 ½ years that put you in a position to be able to apply to the colleges on your list. If colleges notice a change in behavior, motivation, grades, or social media presence, they can decide not to accept you or to rescind your application if you have already been accepted. This is no joke. 

Just like careless tourists falling off the edge of the Grand Canyon, falling off the college cliff happens to several students each year. Students who were likely going to be accepted, or already were accepted, suddenly find themselves without a college to attend in the fall because they said something stupid on social media, or posted a trashy picture on Instagram, or posted a compromising video on TikTok, or got suspended from school, or even got themselves in trouble with the local police. Four years of hard work down the drain.  So, as they say, there is no rest for the weary. You must continue to perform at the same level as before. With this in mind, here are five things to do while waiting for your college admission decisions: 


Continue to go to classes, to take tests, to write papers, to participate in class discussions, and to attend extracurricular activities. It is very likely that colleges will want to see that your behaviors have not changed since you submitted your application. 


Study for, and take, your AP tests in May. Colleges may grow suspicious if you have taken AP classes but have no test scores to report. Also, high scores on AP exams can give you college credit or deferment of certain core requirements that can then be replaced by higher-level classes or electives. 


Continue to post on social media but do so about positive things including talking about how much you are looking forward to going to college to learn, not to party! You can also post about issues of social concern but avoid controversial topics that may sour a particular college on your application. 


If time permits, find ways to strengthen your application with social causes, academic opportunities, additional recommenders, or other activities that promote or enhance your case for admission.  If you applied early, there is a chance you will be deferred to the regular round and it is always good to have positive updates. If you applied to the regular round, there is a chance you will be put on a waiting list and it is helpful to have new information to share with the admission committee. 


Visit colleges, ask for interviews, or submit a video. It is never too late to show colleges that you have a sincere interest in attending, and there’s no better way to do that than by actually visiting the campus. Policies on interviews and videos vary from college to college, but when the opportunity presents itself, you should take advantage of it. Creating a video, or sitting for an interview, can help you present yourself to colleges in a very positive light.  

By Neil Chyten

One thought on “Five Things to do While Waiting for College Admission Decisions

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