For high school seniors across the country, the past few months have likely been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and putting the final touches on early college applications. While finishing up the last of your applications can feel like a satisfying achievement, many students are at a loss for what to do next. For some applicants, the period between hitting ‘submit’ and learning their admissions decisions can be particularly stressful. Here’s what you need to do after submitting college applications, including how to keep application anxiety at bay and make the most of your last semester of high school.
Review the Process
Take a moment to reflect on your college application journey and what you have learned about yourself by completing this process. Creating a list of best-fit schools after submitting college applications can reveal a lot about your interests, academic passions and long-term goals. Write down a couple of “take aways” from this experience, including personal learning preferences and information about the types of environments you thrive in. Reviewing the process and identifying these preferences can be beneficial when it comes time to make enrollment decisions after receiving all of your college acceptances. Be sure to reflect on your parents, teachers, and friends who have helped you throughout your application journey and what you have learned from them.
Some students may feel tempted to take a back seat on academics and extracurriculars after submitting college applications, but keeping your grades up is essential. Nearly all college acceptance letters clearly state that admission is contingent on maintaining the same strong academic standing that helped you gain acceptance in the first place. Similarly, students should stay committed to all of their after-school activities, including community service events, sport teams, and art or music practices. Maintaining your grades and activities is particularly important for students who are waitlisted, as applicants will often be encouraged to update the college on accomplishments and achievements that occurred after their applications were submitted.
Stay in the Loop
The research component of the college application process doesn’t end after submitting college applications. It is important for students to continue learning about each college on their list of best fit schools, so that applicants can make informed enrollment decisions after receiving all of their acceptance letters. If you haven’t already, follow each school you applied to on social media in order to learn more about the events being held on campus and the day-to-day news surrounding each college. And if you haven’t had a chance to tour every school on your list, considering scheduling a few more visits to give yourself the chance to see each campus in person one more time.
After submitting college applications, there is nothing else you can do except continue to perform well in class and make an impact in your activities. Be confident in the time and energy you have put into your grades, test scores, essays, and supplements and trust the application process. Instead of obsessing over your work or wondering what you could have done differently, focus on making the most of the rest of your senior year. While it may be tempting to hit refresh on the early decision notification dates all day, make sure to spend time with your friends, go to events held at your high school, and thank your teachers and guidance counselors for their help if you haven’t already.
Keep Tabs on Your Social Media Accounts
Many students are warned of the dangers of inappropriate social media posts while applying to college, as admissions officers may view a student’s profile or feed while reviewing their application. It is important for students to maintain these social media best practices even after submitting college applications — you never know when or how a questionable picture or comment will come back to haunt you. Focus on posting content that relates to your academic interests and passions, such as photos of your artwork, videos of your last tennis match, and articles about your favorite new movie.
The college application process is comprehensive and time consuming, so high school seniors should take pride in completing the process and all of the hard work that went into every application. If you are currently working on applications or searching for guidance after hitting submit, our team of expert counselors are available to help students with every part of the college admissions journey.