Waiting on college decisions? Here’s why you shouldn’t stress.

It’s been months of sending out transcripts, taking standardized tests, securing letters of recommendation, paying random fees, writing about who you are in 400 words or less, filling out personal information in annoying online forms, and stressing about your future. Now what?

Maybe you’re all jazzed up from applying. Or maybe you’re all frazzled that someone you know already got accepted somewhere (that darn Hannah always has everything figured out). Either way, you want answers now.

Should you call you admissions counselor every day and ask about your application status? Should you start drafting more college essays for the heck of it? 

No, you fools! The best thing to do right now is relax.

high school students at a party

“But I skipped Stu’s Senior Bash so I could finish this stinking application on time, and now you’re telling me to forget about it?”

We get it. The last thing you want to hear is that you need to wait, but for now, that’s all you can do. Take a breath and let it go, because it’s out of your hands. 

This in-between time doesn’t have to be miserable. Go for a walk, turn on your favorite movie, dress up like a cowboy. Do whatever you like to do when you’re being you. If you understood that last sentence, you’re well on your way to success already.

large Psychic Vision sign

“This is all well and fine,” you might be saying, “but I need to know if I’m going to have a school to go to next year!”

Again, relax. You’re scared because you don’t know where you’re going to be spending the next few years of your life. The thing is, though, nobody does. 

Unless you’re a really, really, really good fortune teller, you’re never going to know for sure what your future holds. This isn’t something to get down about, especially not with college plans, where you can always change your major or transfer to a new school if things don’t work out. Focus on today. 

“You’re just spitting out cheesy positivity and annoying aphorisms! How the heck am I supposed to ‘relax’ about college decisions? This is serious stuff, not bologna!”

First of all, bologna is the most serious of all meats. And second of all, if you’re this concerned, let’s dare to think ahead. What’s the worst that can happen when you hear back about college decisions? That you won’t get accepted into any of them? In that highly unlikely scenario, you’d work it out. You could get a job and apply again for the next semester. Or you could start off at a community college and then transfer to a larger institution to finish up your bachelor’s degree.

Getting rejected from the college of your dreams might throw a wrench in your plans, but when you look at the big picture, it’s just a hiccup (or at most, a very painful stubbed toe). There are infinite roads to happiness. You will find a way. After all, you’ve made it through all those college applications. That means you have perseverance and self-discipline, and above all, moxie. Remember that going forward, and be proud of it. 

people walking in a hedge maze

Whatever happens—and we mean this when we say it, so pay attention—whatever happens, you will make it in the end. Even if the way you get there is a little different than you imagined, you’ll get there.


We can’t tell you to simply not be stressed, but we can explain why you shouldn’t be. Where you go to college isn’t the be-all and end-all of your life. You don’t need to be anxious right now, because your application is out of your hands; it was the moment you hit “submit.” Try to enjoy this in-between time. Waiting for college decisions is hard, but you can make it fun.

Remember, right now you’re a senior, which means you are by definition cool in your high school. Enjoy your last few months there. Finish strong and happy.

Illinois Admissions

Illinois Admissions

We're here for you as you prepare for college. Whether you're looking for guidance on the college search process or have questions about Illinois, we hope our blogs will help!

43 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.