The Wait for Desicions: The Worst Part of the College Process

Lily Vaughan '23, Co-Editor

By now, many seniors have submitted their college applications or are about to within the next month. Although it is a big stress relief to submit those applications, the wait to hear back from your schools is arguably the worst part of the process. Once you send in your applications, the situation is completely out of your hands; this can be really hard as nothing is certain. I know that for me, it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude and a clear mind when I am constantly thinking about something I have no control over. 

It doesn’t help that college is pretty much the only thing people talk about, whether it’s about where people applied, where someone else committed, or when a decision for a school will be released. Hearing the same conversation day after day can be very draining and can lead to negative thoughts, including comparison. Anticipation and tensions are high right now. People are receiving good and bad news; and through it all, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. 

Be mindful of your words and how they impact other people: For instance, just because a college is your safety school, it may be someone else’s reach. It can be very diminishing to hear people talking down about a certain school because it’s “very easy to get into”, or “the acceptance rate is high”, especially if it’s a school you were excited to get into. Additionally, there is no need to judge people throughout the college process whether it be when they are applying, where they are applying, where they are committing, or whether they are applying at all to colege. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing their schools, and it’s nobody’s business but their own; you only need to be concerned with yourself. 

Stay in the moment: Personally, this year, as a senior, I am ready to get out of WHS and take on the next chapter of my life following high school. I find myself constantly thinking about college, and what my life will look like when I finally graduate. However, I realized that if I spend so much of my time dwelling on the future, my senior year will slip away. While I do feel like I am done with high school, I know that looking back, I will miss things like sports games, school dances, etc.  I don’t want to be so checked out and focused on what was to come, instead of enjoying the present moment. At the end of the day, it’s not worth focusing so much of your time and energy on thinking about something you can’t control.

Try not to compare yourself to others: Comparison truly is the thief of happiness. Amidst everyone hearing back from their schools and talking about where they got in, or didn’t get in, it’s important to focus on yourself and not think about others. College admissions are not linear; just because you may have the same GPA or SAT score as someone else that got accepted into the school does not mean that you will get accepted as well. You can spend countless hours on Naviance looking at the scattergrams and comparing your stats to the stats of people that get into the school, but at the end of the day, it really means nothing. Although it’s definitely easier said than done, have trust in the process that you will end up where you are meant to be. 

All in all, good luck with whatever path you choose to take after high school–college or not. WHS has numerous resources and has set us up very well to succeed in the future no matter where we end up.