Let me guess: It’s the beginning of February, and you’re one of those kids who either didn’t apply to any school early or unfortunately got some deferrals and rejections from your early schools. Meanwhile, a lot of the kids in your school have already gotten into their number-one choices, found their roommates, and only wear merchandise from their new school. You’re still sitting in your house, though, trying to resist the urge to bang your head against the wall. Believe me, I am right there with you. However, during this stressful time period, there are ways to stay confident, sane, and relaxed! And that’s what your friends at Germ are here to remind you of!

1. You are not alone

Though it may feel like it during this time, you have to remember that you are not the only one. Take a look around; there are tons of students all across the country in the exact same boat as you, feeling all the stress that you’re feeling.

2. It is out of your control

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it), there is nothing to do that will change the situation. The decision dates are the decision dates, and no amount of tears or letter-writing you do will convince a school to push their decision release dates a few months earlier. Sorry.

3. Stressing will not change the outcome

No matter how much you stress, cry, or think about it, your decision isn’t changing! And it also isn’t coming any quicker. I know its hard, but try to remember that stressing won’t actually get you anywhere.

4. Update your regional rep

While you shouldn’t harass or annoy or demand your decision from your rep, sometimes just making contact with them and hearing from the school will make you feel just a little better. If you accomplish anything really cool, tell them about it! Anything you can add to your application helps.

5. Keep working hard in school

Don’t slack off just because you’re a senior or a second-semester senior! Ultimately, if you wind up wait-listed, it could be your senior year grades that make or break their decision. In addition, if you have your first semester grades already, ask your school to send them! If they’re good, schools will love to see that you’re still working hard and giving it your all.

6. Have some much needed no-college-talk time and zones

With your friends or family or both, establish places or specific times of the day where you will not talk about college. It will give your brain a much needed break to talk about something else. Of course, it is impossible to avoid college talk completely, but establishing some safe times will definitely help the process along a little bit.

7. Nothing has changed since you pressed that submit button

Remember how relieved and excited you felt when you pressed the submit button on your application? Nothing has changed since then! You should feel just as confident now as you did then.

8. Remember that the admissions people are, well, people

Although at times it may feel like the opposite, admissions people are simply humans with hearts, brains, and souls doing their job. They have a job like any other, and they have to do it to make a living. They are not monsters or devil incarnates. They simply want to do what’s best for their school.

9. Focus on the present

The future is the future, and God only knows what it will hold. The best you can do is to focus on what’s right in front of you. Remember, in a few months you probably won’t be seeing your mom or dad or best friend or boyfriend or grandma, or whomever it is for you, every single day. Enjoy your time with them now instead of spending all of it stressing. You don’t want to wind up regretting how you devoted all of your time to thinking about something you couldn’t change.

10. Lastly, this is not the end-all

While you may have your heart set on a school, it is not the ultimate decider of who you are as a person. You are a full circle, and no college rejection can take that away from you. If you don’t get into school, it doesn’t mean that you’re not “good” enough; it just means that the school would not have been a good fit for you, and that’s okay. In this whirlwind process, we can often forget that everything will work out as it should. The best thing you can do during this dreadful waiting period is to enjoy your last few months with some of your closest friends and family.

Well, that’s all I really have to say. I know this time is tough, but generations before us have gotten through it, and so can we! Stay strong, good luck, and congratulations to each and every one of you! Whether or not you get in to that dream school, you still have made amazing accomplishments. Yay us!

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