College admission decisions have started arriving, and that means that seniors’ college application journeys are finally coming to an end. I can hear the relief in students and parents’ voices as they share their college news with me. There is no question that the application process is stressful and emotionally draining for families. Finally, the time for celebration is here! As the results come in, we need to remember that there are three possible responses that students can receive from colleges: an acceptance, a rejection, or a waitlist offer.

If you are accepted to a college of interest, consider visiting or revisiting it before the May 1 deposit deadline. Most colleges host accepted student open houses, and these programs do an excellent job of showcasing all dimensions of campus life. During an open house, accepted students should stay overnight with current college students if possible to get a true taste of college life.

If you are rejected from a school(s), don’t spend time lamenting the rejection; invest in the idea of attending a school(s) that has already decided to invest in you by offering you an acceptance. “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama

When students receive a waitlist offer from a college, they need to decide to accept a position on the waitlist or decline it. Students who choose to stay on an admission waitlist will receive feedback from the college between very late April and late June regarding their status. It is an option for students to accept more than one waitlist offer. In the mean time, students must deposit at a college where they have been accepted by May 1.

Lastly and most importantly, students should take a moment to stop and reflect: Consider all that you accomplished not only in the college application process, but also keep in mind all of the good work that you have done from your very first day of school. So many of the choices that you made throughout your school career shaped the path of your college application process and led you to the opportunities that are now before you. Look around at the people in your life who supported you on your journey: your parents and family, your teachers, your school counselor, your college coach, etc. and thank them. Send a text, write an e-mail, give a hug, but make sure you make the time to do something.

Good luck and enjoy this exciting time. You deserve it!

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