Preparing for the waitlist: 3 ways to stay positive

Picture it: You’ve applied to the school of your dreams. You’ve written an entrance essay and presented them with a list of your transcripts and accomplishments. Then, a few months later, you receive an envelope from your dream school informing you that you’ve just been waitlisted.

The news can put even the most confident student in the dumps, but getting waitlisted for college merely means that you may have to wait a little longer to find out you’ve been accepted to your #1 choice on your list of universities. Around May 1st, many schools begin to extend offers to students who have been placed on the waiting list. You should learn whether you’ve been accepted or rejected by August 1st — the date when schools are legally required to give applicants a verdict.

You may be sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear from your top pick, however, there are a number of ways you can stay positive while you wait to find out which school you’ll be attending in the fall. Here are just a few.

Take action!
Show the school of your choice that you’re hungry and can be an asset to their student body. Contact the school’s recruiting or admissions department to set up an interview to discuss not only your accomplishments, but to explain why you are so interested in attending their school. You can also pen a letter to the Dean of Admissions to let him or her know more about your goals and what makes their academic institution so appealing to you. Be honest, sincere, and straight-forward in your letter or interview. Help them to understand why you are both a good fit for their school — and what makes you unique!

Get excited about your other collegiate options
It’s not the end of the world if your first choice school doesn’t “choose you back.” You’ve already come this far and have undoubtedly applied for admission at other comparable schools. If any of these schools extend an offer to you, consider enrolling. In the event your first choice school pulls you from the waitlist and accepts you, you will only lose a small deposit on your second-choice school. However, you will gain immense peace of mind knowing that you have been accepted and enrolled in another excellent institution of higher learning.

Stay busy!
Between posing for senior portraits, attending your last few high school sporting events as a student, and planning for prom, there are a number of milestone moments savor while you wait it out on the wait list. Another great way to stay busy is to volunteer with local organizations. Giving back to your community is a great way to help you keep life in perspective and help others. As stressful as your senior year of high school can be, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Enjoy every minute of it!

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