Seniors: Stay in the Game

The college search is one big plan, so position yourself to go the distance. It’s a long season, and each step along the way is important to your ultimate goal of finding your #1 college. Right now, you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment in knowing that all of your applications and essays are done. Take a deep breath on this front, but continue to show your best performance in the classroom. The game isn’t over — senior grades do count. Your first semester/trimester grades have been sent from your high school in what is called the midyear report, and even your final transcript will be sent to your ultimate college destination.

By now, you probably have heard from a few of the colleges on your list. Because of early decision, early action, and rolling admission, you may already have some responses. If you have been admitted to your first-choice ED school, congratulations! We wish you well as you prepare for admitted students’ day on your college campus. It’s an invaluable opportunity to begin preparing for your freshman year by digging deeper into the details of your undergraduate program, so be sure to go.

You’ll want to look at the day-to-day expectations of a typical college student, talk to current students, and do a bit of research on how college is different from high school. It’s a good way to start shifting your mindset from that of a high school senior to thinking like a college student. It will help you keep your head in the game, know what’s up, and remain curious about college life, even if you are not moving until August. Knowing what to expect can reduce a lot of stress and will make for a smoother transition in the fall.

If you did not commit or were redirected from early decision, you may well have early action and rolling (positive) responses in your plan. Now is the time to wait for responses to your regular decision applications, but it is also a good time to revisit your interest and commitment to any admits that you have secured so far. If you were deferred from an early application, you are now in the position to receive new, updated information in the upcoming weeks. Continue through the next steps as an engaged player. There will be information arriving in the upcoming weeks that may include any of the following: admit, rejection, wait list, or even a sophomore transfer opportunity.

Dealing with disappointment is part of the big picture, and, for some, the game will go down to the wire. Remaining open to positive and realistic options will facilitate making a good choice. Making your best decision before National Decision Day on May 1 (if you have not decided early) will require you to keep swinging and moving in an informed and positive direction. Continue to engage in the process until you have mailed your deposit and are in the position to celebrate your college choice. The key, as with any endeavor, is to stay in the game until the final whistle.