You’re Done With College Apps. Now What?

by Lydia Velazquez ‘17

I will admit, it feels like the past three years of school have all been in preparation for one thing: applying to college. All the rigor- ous courses, unnecessarily high level of involvement in extracur- riculars, and acquirement of a tri- ple-digited number of volunteer hours simply to be compressed into a ve-page PDF le for the judgment of my dream school’s admissions of cers.

Nonetheless, with my appli- cations submitted and my tran- script, with minor hassle, mailed, I can breathe a little easier. It de nitely relieves my anxiety knowing that Naviance now has absolutely no purpose to me and that when my extended family at- tempts to make conversation with me at gatherings by asking about college, I’ll have the prepared apathetic response, “I’ve applied and am waiting for a response.”

I will say that once I clicked the “submit” button on Common App for the last time, I felt a weight step off my shoulders, but also a vacancy form in my heart. At rst I thought it was just a mi- nor palpitation from the lack of sleep and extensive consumption of Red Bull, but now, a month after that evening, the sensation is still there. Therefore, there are only two possible reasons for this feeling; I’m experiencing heart

failure or I’m experiencing a sense of nothingness. Though I trust WebMD with all my med- ical concerns, the latter option seems more likely for age group.

Now there’s plenty of advice with regard to college applica- tion but nothing about about what to do when the process is complete. I nd this lack of guid- ance about what I’m supposed to do for the next couple days/ weeks/months until I get accept- ed (or declined) disheartening. Thankfully, I’ve begun to strate- gize some activities to ll the ac- ceptance letter-sized hole in my life during this gap between now and then (“then” being when I can start neglecting my school work).

With all this time on my hands, I’ve begun to recognize the importance of taking care of myself. After all those late nights of writing and re-writing essays I’ve decided it’s time to consider a new sleeping habit. This new habit will simply be: sleeping —a lot. But never at night; that time is allotted for mediation and thinking about the somehow both exciting and stress-induc- ing concept that is “my future.”

Another great way I’ve found to reconnect with myself is going for walks. I like to take this great trail in my neighbor- hood that eventually leads me to my mailbox, which I normally

sit next to until the acceptance letter-less mail arrives or until it gets dark, whichever happens rst.

Additionally, I’ve found de- cluttering my life, technologically and physically, to be helpful. As of late, I’ll clean my emails dai- ly, gradually unsubscribing from those 50 something colleges I’ve never heard of or even considered applying to. Also, I recommend that when you’re done compiling all the postcards you’ve received from miscellaneous colleges, ei- ther recycle them or maybe use them as a substitute for rewood during this cold season.

A nal, and probably obvi- ous, recommended activity you can do with this vacancy in your life is catch up with friends. May- be get Starbucks and discuss your FAFSA application and all the scholarships you should be ap- plying to but haven’t started yet. Maybe get together with that one person who told you senior year would be a breeze, see if they want to meet in a poorly lit alley sometime. However, while trying to have a completely balanced amount of fun before entering the harsh cruelties of the “real world,” don’t forget about your buddies who are still in the midst of applying to 10+ schools. The courteous thing to do is to send them, and their bank accounts, condolences.