The "Waiting Room": Dealing with Stress on the Waiting List

The “Waiting Room”: Dealing with Stress on the Waiting List

As admission, rejection, and waiting list letters are rolling in to seniors around the country, many will find themselves in the same conundrum: being placed on the waiting list at (insert university here).  We have some great tips for what to do if you find yourself on the waiting list at your dream school.  It is also important to manage stress, including the stress of being placed on the waiting list.  Here are 5 things you can do as you play the waiting game.

  • Channel it: The end of senior year is filled with a lot of anxiety and anticipation in general, and being on the waiting list at one of your favorite schools only adds to these feelings.  Instead of fighting the anxiety, embrace it into doing something productive.  Go for a run or attend a yoga class.   Focus on finishing out the school year strong.  Write a letter to the admissions office or try to connect with alumni from the college.  Any of these things are positive ways to release that tense, nervous energy you may be experiencing.
  • Keep it in perspective and stay positive.  You didn’t get rejected and probably have other great options.  Plus, regardless of where you go, freshmen year will probably be one of the most exciting years of your life.
  • Remember your purpose and list your strengths.  Why did you apply to the school you got waited at? Looking back on where you applied and why can be very helpful at this point in the process.  You may find your motivations have changed.  List your interests and strengths to see how they match up to the schools you applied to, whether you are on the wait list or not.
  • Talk it out: no one talks about being on the wait list, but you’d be surprised how many people have experienced it.  Reach out to an older friend and see if they have any advice.  Talk to your parents or counselor about anything you may be feeling.
  • Remember the process: it’s confusing, it’s random, and it’s frustrating at times.  The key is to not to whatever happens personally. College admissions are not a measure of your worth as a person and remember it will work out.  You’re almost done!

For more specific tips on what to do to try to get off the waitlist, check out Hope’s post on Waitlisted? What Do I Do?