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13 Things to Do Instead of Freaking Out About College

It’s that time of year when the question, “What college are you going to?” is enough to send you into a full-blown panic attack. You’ve worked towards this final decision for the past three and a half years, filled out the applications and written countless personal statements. You may be feeling like your life has turned into a big waiting game that your entire future depends on, but it’s your senior year, and it’s time to live it up!

Instead of spending your afternoons waiting for the mail delivery and your nights anxiously thinking about what you’ll do if you get a rejection letter, throw yourself into other activities that will ensure you end your senior year in the best way possible and enter the next chapter of your life fully prepared.

1. Visit schools you haven’t seen

You may not know which college you’re going to end up at yet, which gives you all the more reason to get pumped about lots of different schools! Visit the ones you applied to that you haven’t had a chance to check out in person yet. That way you can start imagining the next four years at different campuses. Plus, knowing you have so many great options will make waiting for those acceptance letters less nerve-racking!

2. Rank your choices

At this point in the game you probably already know which school is your number-one choice, but there’s always a slim chance that for whatever reason, your dream school isn’t the school you’re going to end up at in the fall. Therefore, it’s important to have a good idea how the rest of the schools you applied to stack up. When deciding where the other schools fall on your list, consider things such as location, majors offered, price and where you can see yourself spending the next four years. This will take your mind off of waiting by helping you realize all of the great options you have!

3. Go outdoors

There’s no better way to ease your nerves than by spending some time in nature! With the temperatures rising, it’s a great idea to go on fun adventures with your friends to a scenic hiking trail or to the beach. Having fun in the outdoors will get you out of the house and your mind off those acceptance letters. Go during mail-delivery hours to avoid anxiously awaiting the mailman for hours on end.

4. Make a photo album

The end of your senior year is all about reminiscing about all of the amazing times you’ve had in high school, and what a better way to do this than by making a photo album? It’s something you’ll cherish when you’re away at college and feeling homesick, and now that you’re all done writing essays for your applications, you have some free time on your hands! Instead of using this time to worry about admissions letters, document your high school years with a fun photo album.

5. Plan a senior trip

Plan a trip with all of your best friends to guarantee the perfect ending to your high school experience. All the excitement of doing something fun with the people with whom you’ve spent the last four years will ensure you spend ample time with the people you’ll be seeing less of next year. Plan a road trip to the nearest beach or a city you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Invite your best girl friends so you can split up the costs and the driving.

6. Take senior portraits

Taking senior portraits is basically a right of passage. Use your newfound free time wisely by getting these beauties taken if you haven’t gotten them already. Get your mind off of admissions letters by getting creative! Take your time in selecting different outfits that display your personality. Let your personal style shine in these portraits that are sure to hang in your parents home for years!

7. Do some spring-cleaning

It’s time to seriously distract yourself by getting organized! Color-code your closet, rid your wardrobe of the clothing you haven’t worn in six months, clean out the dust bunnies and start deciding which outfits you cannot survive without as a collegiette. Not only is this a productive way to get your mind off of admissions letters, but cleaning can also be a stress reliever!

8. Make congratulatory cookies

On the inside you might not be happy for your friends who have already heard back from their colleges, but you should be supportive anyway! Distract yourself during this time by making your friends congratulatory cookies. They’ll love the thoughtful gesture, and some good karma while waiting to see if you got into the college of your dreams can’t hurt your chances!

9. Prepare to move out

Assuming that at least one of the admissions letters you receive is going to be an acceptance, you will probably be moving out of your parents’ house in the near future. Start making a list of things you’ll need to take with you to college (coffee maker: check!). Getting excited at the thought of moving on to a new stage in your life will take the pressure off of anxiously waiting to hear back from schools!

10. Update your wardrobe

In high school, it may have been acceptable to wear pink every Wednesday or throw on furry boots with every outfit imaginable. Collegiettes, however, are oftentimes much more fashionable. Get a great pair of boots, replace those logo T-shirts with a cool chambray shirt or even invest in a great everyday lipstick. Feeling like you fit in on campus rather than feeling like the new kid can help you transition into your college years seamlessly.

11. Shop for the perfect prom dress

Retail therapy is a great stress reliever. As a pre-collegiette with prom approaching in a few short months, you now have the perfect opportunity to get a jump-start on this anxiety cure. Search the web, the mall and hidden boutiques to ensure you’ll have a prom dress that doesn’t give you wardrobe nightmares two years from now and that no one else has! Focusing on fun things such as prom will ensure that you spend the end of your senior year enjoying all that high school has to offer rather worrying about the future.

12. Apply for scholarships

Applying for scholarships can take your mind off waiting while easing some of your financial worries as well. You’re at the top of your game when it comes to filling out applications, so why not fill out a few more while you’re at it? Choose a few you’re interested in and get started. Laura Bauman, a second year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, says that “whether it’s through your school, your possible future college, your community or random ones off of a scholarship website, it’s good to start [scholarship applications] early and apply for as many as possible!”

13. Just keep studying

Even though senioritis is probably getting the best of you right now, it’s important to keep your grades up prior to graduation! If they drop significantly, college admissions officers could revoke your acceptance. After all of this waiting, that would be a complete nightmare. Instead of mentally checking out early, throw yourself into researching a topic you’re into for an upcoming paper, get an A on your next math test and enjoy the classic novel you’re reading for English. School will get a lot tougher in the near future, so enjoy it while it’s less stressful! You can also use this time to brush up on good study habits that will help you in college.


Rather than wasting the next few weeks waiting anxiously and stalking the mailman, do a few or all of these things to get your mind off of receiving your acceptance letters. It’s out your control at this point, so why not live it up in the meantime? 

Susannah Hine is a senior at the University of California, Irvine double majoring in Political Science and Literary Journalism. Her interests are fabulously diverse and include loving country and rap music, fashion, all things written, traveling, spending countless hours on Buzzfeed and Pinterest, and dedicating any free weekend with her favorite person in the world: her mom. Susannah has interned at a plethora of establishments including Patch.com, Orange Coast Magazine, and Beach House Public Relations. When she isn’t busy working her part time job, being a full time student, and being an active member in her sorority, she enjoys spending time with her best friends in their house located on the sunny sands of Newport Beach, California. Follow her on Twitter at @Susannahhine 
Cassidy is a Digital Production intern at Her Campus. She's currently a junior studying journalism at Emerson College. Cassidy also is a freelance reporter at the Napa Valley Register and a staff writer at Her Campus Emerson. Previously she blogged for Seventeen Magazine at the London 2012 Olympics, wrote for Huffington Post as a teen blogger and was a Team Advisor at the National Student Leadership Conference on Journalism, Film, & Media Arts at University of California, Berkeley and American University in Washington, D.C.. When she's not uploading content to Her Campus or working on her next article, Cassidy can be found planning her next adventure or perfecting her next Instagram. Follow her on Twitter at @cassidyyjayne and @cassidyjhopkins.