Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.

It is easy for people to “pigeon hole” themselves into doing certain things. Things as far ranging as careers to relationships to personal growth are restricted by human reluctance to expand their visions. However, it has become ever more evident to me through the college process–an important lesson for all soon-to-be seniors and juniors–that to do this could result in an outcome that they really aren’t satisfied with. Not knowing is okay; making believe that only one college exists is not.

At this point in the process, if you have yet to figure out where it is that you will be attending, you have either been rejected from your first choice or waiting on a few schools that have yet to be released. Either way, so late in the admissions process, with friends all around you already planning visiting days and joining some “incoming freshmen” groups on facebook, the situation begins to feel a bit hopeless. The once-felt excitement shared with classmates is very much gone, and it’s been replaced by a nagging feeling of unknowingness and even possibly mild resentment. This idea can lead people to simply choosing a school to get over with it, refusing to continue contacting schools with the same fervor, or even neglecting to fill out important forms like financial aid due to a new-found apathy. While it is easy to fall into this trap, it is simple enough from the outside to say this is wrong, but when it is you personally, such is not the case.

Juxtaposing what my last article alluded to, I have fallen into this lethargic pattern myself. But what to do? Well, I suppose I wouldn’t be writing if I didn’t have the tips myself, now would I?

1. Step back. Understand that just because you haven’t been accepted anywhere yet does not mean the game is over; there is still plenty of time. You’re applications are done now, so just sit back and wait for them to return, and when they do, you’re free to start freaking out.

2. Pursue all avenues. Don’t limit yourself and ultimately you’re future! Just because a college deferred you does not mean they will not subsequently accept you, but persistence is crucial. Contacting admissions officers, sending updates and mid-year reports, even visiting can all increase you’re chances. As told to me by an Ivy League admissions officer, “A deferral is active, not passive. If a school didn’t want you at all, they would have denied you.”

3. Search beyond March/April. Senior summer, while a great time to spend relaxing and soaking up as much beach time with high school friends before “the great college divide,” is also an 8-10 week period that can be extremely useful. Now is the time to start applying for internships, searching for scholarships, and even searching for things that you might want to venture into when college does in fact arrive (is that actually like 6 months away? when did I turn into an adult?).

4. Relax. It’s senior year! Take that hackneyed chill pill already! It wouldn’t do to well to simply let all things slip away, but you’ve just finished one of the most stressful 4-5 month stretches of you’re life, and you can’t even legally rent a car. When you hit college, there are things that just don’t become socially acceptable to do anymore, that won’t even seem like too much fun. DO THEM. Let you’re inner child loose.

At the risk of becoming garrulous to the point of exhaustion, I’ll take this opportunity to end. But before I go, I want to remind you that there is no point where senior year makes sense: not once you get to second semester, not after you’re accepted, and not when you’re assured admission. This year starts when you want it to. Don’t perpetuate the thoughts of failure, forging a path of anger and leaving months of misery. If you’ve done it right, college will sort itself out. Go play.

Until next time, y’all.

~Salib Out

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