College acceptance, waitlists and rejections can bring a lot of different emotions, but this time can also be used to set yourself up for success!

So, you’ve gone through the early application and early decision making process. Maybe you were accepted – congrats! Maybe you were waitlisted – no worries! Or maybe you were denied – we know it’s tough, but there’s plenty of options out there for you! Regardless of the outcome, there are still several things that still remain to be done. As you prepare for the college you were accepted to, you’re in a waiting phase because you’ve been deferred, or you’re figuring out what direction to go next, there are steps you can take to make the most of this time and set yourself up for success down the road.

We know this can be a stressful time to walk through, but here’s a few of our best tips to not just get you through it, but to help you thrive in it!

Control your mindset

You have control over the way that the college process effects you. Stay calm through it. You can let this get you down and cause you to give up, or it can be used it to fuel you to work harder and get farther!

Mindset Tips:

Take a deep breath.

Focus on the things you can control.

Leave the things behind that you’re not able to control. “Coulda, shoulda woulda,” doesn’t set you up for a positive outlook. Look ahead, not behind!

At the end of the day, much of the situation is out of your hands. This part is the most challenging because you can’t “redo” something as that opportunity has passed. Simply, focus on the opportunities ahead, make the most of them, be proud of the work and effort you’ve already put in, keep working on what’s next, and leave the rest.

Focus on what you can control

You don’t have control over a lot of this situation, but focus on what you can control! Maybe you haven’t completed all of your applications because you were deferred or denied during an early application / early decision process. Now is the time to knock out these forms as well as other documents and scholarships.

Focus Tips:

Continue to work on applications and essays for the regular application deadlines.

Finish your financial aid paperwork if you haven’t already.

Begin or continue your external scholarship efforts. A great place to start is your school’s counseling office. Schedule a brief meeting with your counselor to update your progress, get any feedback, and most importantly discuss any local scholarship opportunities from PTSA, small businesses, or other local organizations. You can also follow the hashtag #ScholarshipSaturday to get new tips from CPI each week!

Remain focused on your grades, activities and other commitments. Don’t let your grades slip during this waiting season.

Parents, encourage your student through this season

Parents can support their students by reminding them to remain focused on the main things. It’s easy to get anxious, nervous and worried for your child, but at the end of the day, you can’t control the outcome either. Your student can either feed off of your anxious energy or feel calmed and encouraged by your presence.

Here’s a few tips to help them through this time:

Support them as they work through their remaining applications.

Proofread their essays, but be careful to be supportive, not critical. Hiring an outside source can be very helpful for this stage as well.

Identify additional scholarships to apply for. Schedule some time to sit down and talk through where they are, where they are going, and their plan to get there. Offer some ideas/suggestions for efficiency, like creating a spreadsheet to sort all the application dates to keep things on track.

Go do something fun together to get your mind off the stress of the college process! Maximize the moments you have together.

The waiting game isn’t always a fun one, but it can be a productive time in a student’s  life, that If used well, can help them finish strong and maximize their efforts.