So you’ve heard back from some colleges…Now what?
This morning, upon the discovery of the Clark University Class of 2018 Facebook group, it occurred to me that this years’ high school seniors have either received notifications from the universities they applied to, or will be hearing back from them in the next few months. You filled out your applications, you waited for what, to me, felt like years, and finally received some answers. Now what?
Situation 1: You sit at your computer to quickly check your email before dinner, and you find that X University has sent you a notification that something has changed with your application. You click on the link, log in, follow the instructions, and wait for the page to load. You’ve been accepted!
Whether you race around the house yelling out your news for your parents to hear, jump up and down in your room before calling your best friend, or post a status on Facebook declaring your success, sharing your college acceptance is part of the process of figuring out where you will end up going. However, if announcing your ‘college status’ to the world sounds like a terrible idea, don’t feel pressured to tell everybody—I kept several acceptances between myself, my immediate family, and a few teachers.
Once the initial high of an acceptance passed, you should spend some time thinking about the college, imagining whether you can see yourself walking on its campus in a year’s time.
Situation 2: You open your laptop to sneakily check your email in the middle of your physics class, and you find that Y University has sent you a notification that something has changed with your application. You click on the link, log in, follow the instructions, and wait for the page to load. You’ve been waitlisted.
This can be positive or negative depending on how you choose to see it. I saw it negatively, yet if I had to do it again, I would try harder to see my place on a university’s waitlist as something positive.
A place on the waitlist comes with the option to accept or give up your place. Should you accept, you have to wait and wait in a strange place of college limbo. I gave up both my spots because my thought was if that I set my heart on going to whichever school I was waitlisted at, and was eventually rejected, I’d have to go through that process a second time, and would enroll at a university I did not want to go to. Starting with the mindset of ‘I want to be here’ makes college more pleasurable. However, accepting a place on the waitlist might be best for you—it gives you another chance to get into a potential dream school.
Situation 3: You sit at your computer to check your email for the hundredth time, and you find that Z University has finally sent you a notification that something has changed with your application. You click on the link, log in, follow the instructions, and wait for the page to load. You’ve been rejected.
Dealing with rejection is tough, and being rejected from a university can seem like a slap in the face. Do not lose confidence in yourself because some school decided that they didn’t want you. Let yourself feel sad for a bit, but make sure to get up and move on. A rejection presents an opportunity for thought—you might decide you wouldn’t have been happy at Z University anyway.
After a rejection, pat yourself on the back for trying, get some ice cream, and carry on. Hopefully, everything will work out, and you will be happy. Remember, if you do end up at a school that leaves you feeling miserable, the option to transfer is available.
Deciding which college to go to is a tough decision based on money, majors, location, the student body, and all sorts of extenuating circumstances that will influence your final choice. What you get out of college correlates with what you put in, do not lose hope if you end up at a second or third choice school, do not feel like less of a person because you were waitlisted or rejected.
Be excited! Your final year of high school is almost over, and college is just around the corner.