I Got Accepted! What Do I Do Next?

Categories: Admissions Advice

Our last post on getting accepted, waitlisted, or rejected seemed like relative hit among you college-bound youth out there, so we figured why not go a little deeper into each subject matter?

Today, we’ll voyage to the not-too-far-away land called Accepted Island–a place where high school seniors land after receiving a thick envelop in the mail and a congratulatory pat on the back by their parents. So celebrate on that island for a little while, and then pack up your stuff because you’ll have to make some moves.

Choosing a college:

After getting accepted into college, you don’t really have that much time to make your final decision. Most colleges require a decision by May  1. So you may have a month or less to decide. Sure, congratulate yourself with an hour extra of reality TV, or whatever your guilty pleasure is, but then it’s time to get back to business because you have plenty of things to take care of.

With a limited amount of time you’ll have to weigh your options. One of the best ways to weed out schools is by looking at the most black and white factor of them all: money. Is one school offering you a bigger scholarship? If money is a big factor in your decision making, then your decision can basically be made for you then and there. If one school is offering more money, but you prefer another school, you can always ask if they will match the other school’s offer. What do yo have to lose? They may not agree to match the scholarship, but they’re not going to lower it–unless you say something scary on the phone. So avoid that.

If that doesn’t help narrow down which college you’ll enroll in, you might want to visit the campuses. If you haven’t already visited, this is definitely worth the trip. A visit will give you the overall feeling of a school and can help you decide if it’s the right fit.

And…if that doesn’t help you choose which school you will be enrolling in next fall, then it’s time to get introspective. What do you want out of  college? What do you want for your career and your future? Make a checklist of these items and see which colleges meet more requirements. You can always seek guidance from a parent, teacher, or counselor to help you make the best decision.

Finishing high school strong:

Senioritis is not just a contagious attitude that will keep you up late watching Hoarders, it’s a state-of-mind that can actually threaten your future. Colleges may ask for your end of the year transcript, and if your grades slip too much, they could possibly take away your scholarship.

The same goes for extracurricular activities. Avoid winding down your effort in the activities that may have helped you get into college. Your team, club, or group depends on your leadership and actions. Giving up because you got an acceptance letter is a bad stain on your character.

Not too sound to much like your mom, but you should also stay away from trouble. Just because you got into a college doesn’t mean you should party harder. An acceptance letter can’t do much for the unknown consequences of bad decision making. Sorry, we definitely got into Mom-tone on that one.

Speaking in the positive light, an acceptance letter/s should drive you to continue working hard and doing good work.

Staying humble:
Don’t let a few acceptance letters go to your head. For one thing, you don’t want to alienate yourself from friends who may have not had such luck with college admissions. That doesn’t mean you have to hide your success, but try not to push it in others’ faces. There’s also a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs where students who get into college assume they’re set for life. You can always improve, keep pushing, and continue making strides. Don’t stop moving because you’ve been recognized for your work one time.

Do you have an experience with getting accepted to college? Tell us your story in the comment section below! 

Original Post Date: February 2nd, 2012

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