January 1 has come and gone. It’s been a little over a month since college application deadlines and the dust has finally settled. You might’ve submitted an application well in advance, or you might’ve been working on them down to the wire. Whichever camp you fall into, I hope you’ve taken the time to celebrate. You did it! You completed your applications – and on time, no less. Working on an application is grueling and in many ways make you wonder just how great you are. I’m here to confirm what you already know deep down: you are awesome! No matter the outcome, you deserve a pat on the back for putting in the work and putting yourself out there.
Now that the initial adrenaline has worn off after you clicked “submit”, you might be thinking, what’s next? Especially if you applied for Regular Decision, you might feel like a contestant on a really bad, prolonged season of the Bachelorette (aren’t they all, though?), wondering if you’re going to get the coveted rose 🌹 .
So I thought it might help if I shared ten useful dos and don’ts on how to play the waiting game. My hope is that these will make your process a little less stressful.
Don't get sucked into message boards and forums
If you only read one recommendation from my Dos and Don’ts, this is it. There are some that tell you what ‘stats’ are most likely to get you in, or what you need to do to ensure an admit. I can tell you 99.9999% of them are wrong. You’ve done what you needed to do – submit an application. There is no gaming the system or formula for a strong application. Listening to others tell you what they think one is will only make you more anxious.
Do find activities to occupy your time
And no, hitting refresh on your applicant portal every five minutes doesn’t count. We’d still love to know if you did anything new, cool, or impactful during your last semester of high school. AND having positive, constructive things to occupy your time will keep you from being anxious.
Don't feel like you need to talk about your application or your expectations
Applying to university is a very personal thing, and not something you need to share with everyone if you don’t want to. What oversharing can sometimes lead to is comparison, and then you begin to doubt and second-guess all the hard work you put in. Don’t sell yourself short. Make a pact with your friends not to talk about the application process until after decision release. That way you’ll all maintain your sanity.
Do keep your grades up
Sometimes we really do wait to see your midterm grades and how you’ve performed to make our final decisions, and a drastic drop in academic standard can be a reason to rescind an application even after you’ve been admitted. Translation: you do not have the permission to slack off after January 1 because your final transcript matters. Continue to challenge yourself within the context of your curriculum.
Don't send us emails telling us how much you love NYU and want to be admitted
Do send us emails asking us more questions about the NYU experience
And, if you’re able to, visit campus and take a tour. Your search technically isn’t over until you’ve placed a deposit at an institution. Seek answers to the things that will better help you make the right decision should you be offered admission to NYU.
Don't obsess over your submitted application
Don’t feel like you have to resubmit a new essay every week. Or change your intended major a half dozen times. Or ask opinions about your application. Be confident in the you you already outlined on paper.
Do check and make sure your application materials have been submitted
The important thing is to recognize what you can and cannot control. Once your application is submitted, it’s out of your hands. However, you do have the power to make sure that things like your standardized testing, transcript, and other supporting materials get to where they need to be. And our applicant portal with it’s built in checklist makes it easier than ever. Jasmine from our Operations team outlines what to look for here.
Don't be impatient
Understand that we receive tens of thousands of applications every year and it takes time to both process and review them, then process them again before decisions are released. You did your job, now sit back and let us take our turn with the hard work.
Do enjoy what's left of your youth
I kid, but not really. Life comes at you fast once you’re in college. Soon you’ll be doing your own laundry and chugging cans of whatever new-fangled energy drinks are popular right now so you can finish your 20-page paper on West African Adornment before your 8:40 am class on Monday. Trust me, I’ve been there. There’s a freedom that comes with high school, and outlined structure that you will seldom find again when you enter college. Savor it. Savor your time with old friends, hang out at your favorite places, spend time with your family. They might seem mundane now, but these are the things you’ll miss most.