Have you ever been stuck on the freeway and decided that sitting still in traffic makes no sense, so you get off at the nearest ramp and take side streets to get to your location? While it ultimately may take you the same amount of time to arrive at your destination, moving forward, even with stoplights and detours, may feel like your trip is more within your control than creeping along at three mph. I often tell students that the application season, which includes the notification season, can feel like that. When in the middle of writing essays and completing applications, students can see tangible progress that will lead them to their ultimate destination – college. There is a lot of talk about, “Can’t wait to be done with all of those essays and have all the college stuff behind me.” However, once the essays and applications are submitted, it is like being on the freeway: students and families find themselves stuck in the middle of the college admissions journey, waiting to hear their ultimate destination.
Just like being stuck on the freeway, even with good music or a sports game to watch, feeling stuck and waiting for college decisions is just hard, but you can prepare now to hear the news. For some students, re-engaging in life with college applications and essays behind them may come easier, with school sports, extracurricular activities, or senior events kicking in. However, students and families may need to get creative and make a concerted effort to manage the waiting game, whether for a few weeks or months. In her article, Dr. Lisa D’Amour wrote about the different types of distraction and engagement that can help frame what works and why. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to get comfortable with the road you’re on while making the trip meaningful.
Tips for What's Next
Take a deep breath.
Embrace your high school experience and head into finals and second-semester feeling prepared.
Do the things that make you happy.
Reclaim senior year and the path to graduation.
Inoculate yourself from catching "senioritis." Grades matter, and the schools accepting you expect you to maintain your academic standing.
Check your emails and set up your college portals.
Seed Your World
Sink into a New Book and Read
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