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Life > High School

5 Productive Things to Do While Waiting to Hear Back from Colleges

You’ve submitted all your college applications, been interviewed, asked for tons of letters of recommendation, and written thousands of words on why you want to attend “Fill in the Blank” University. Setting your speed on cruise control and coasting for the rest of senior years sounds just perfect, right? Not exactly! You only have a few short months left in high school, so you only have a few short months to enjoy your newfound free time. On top of being the year for college applications, senior year is also your last year to experience everything you want to experience in high school, and since you’re no longer using your free time to fill out college apps, you have time to spend in other ways.  Here are five productive ways to bide the time.

1. Research Your College Choices More

You may think you have researched all you can research about your college choices, but before you hear back from them, it wouldn’t hurt to make a pros and cons list for each school. If and when you’re faced with having to choose between two (or three, or more!) schools, you’re ready to make a more informed decision.  Try looking more closely at specific policies of your university choices (like dorm policies and judicial procedures), what the nightlife is like around campus, and look into extracurriculars you’d be interested in joining once you get there.

2. Get More Involved With Your Extracurriculars

What better way is there to spend your free time than by getting more involved in a club or activity you enjoy while still pumping up your resume that you’ll be sending to programs and sororities at your final choice?  Try taking on a chair position or helping a chair organize an event. By helping plan an event or fundraiser, you’ll be able to see how different aspects of event planning, fundraising, and public relations work. Knowing a little bit about these processes will help you immensely in your future, whether it be planning something for a club on campus in college, during your career, or in your personal life. Getting even more involved will also be a major help if you get a deferral from a school. If you show initiative, you’re more appealing to a school than if you had just coasted after submitting applications. Even if you aren’t dealing with a deferred decision, getting more involved with hobbies you love will take the sting off rejection or make your last few months of high school even more enjoyable.

3. Start a Blog

Starting a blog now and continuing it through college (or at least the first week of classes!) is a great way to document all the changes and excitement going on in your life. Blogging is also a great way to work on your writing skills. If you know someone else is reading it, you’ll pay more attention to grammar, punctuation and readability of the post. By writing correctly more often, it’ll become a habit, so making the transition from emoji-only conversations to Freshman Comp will be a breeze. Blogging is also an opportunity to write about something you’re passionate about, whether it be your opinions on world politics or the latest makeup trends. Whatever you decide to blog about, don’t make it too personal. A blog is great for writing your opinions, but airing your dirty laundry (or someone else’s) in a public forum is very unprofessional. Check out Her Campus’s guides to blogging and fashion blogging to get started.

4. Plan Your Social Calendar

With the end of the year coming up, you can get overwhelmed with prom, socials, projects, and family time. Planning ahead now will help you stay on top of things later. Take some time to really plan out weekends that you’ll want for prom dress shopping, out of town trips, or upcoming parties. Try making a fun pull-off calendar beginning now and ending at graduation. You’ll look forward to seeing the number of days remaining dwindle as that exciting day approaches!

5. Tutor or Mentor an Elementary or Middle School Student

Do you remember how cool you thought high school students were when you were in elementary school? Try being a younger student’s hero by volunteering to tutor or mentor a local student. Helping a younger kid with his or her homework is a great way to expand your brain by thinking in ways you haven’t thought in years. Even if you’re not the best student, chances are your mere presence in the child’s life would make his or her day brighter. Check into programs through your school, or get hooked up with Big Brothers Big Sisters or a program similar to it.

Sydney is a University of North Alabama senior majoring in Journalism and Public Communication. She is involved with Alpha Delta Chi sorority and Campus Outreach, and she works on campus as a student worker and at a department store as a shoe sales associate. When she's not running between activities, class and work, you can find Sydney laughing uncontrollably, talking to everyone, shopping, getting pedicures, reading magazines for hours, or planning her future on Pinterest. She loves Jesus, ADChi, New Girl (specifically, Jess's wardrobe and Nick Miller), glasses, discipleship and late night trips to Applebees. 
As the Senior Designer, Kelsey is responsible for the conceptualization and design of solutions that support and strengthen Her Campus on all levels. While managing junior designers, Kelsey manages and oversees the creative needs of Her Campus’s 260+ chapters nationwide and abroad. Passionate about campaign ideation and finding innovative design solutions for brands, Kelsey works closely with the client services team to develop integrated marketing and native advertising campaigns for Her Campus clients such as Macy’s, UGG, Merck, Amtrak, Intel, TRESemmé and more. A 2012 college graduate, Kelsey passionately pursued English Literature, Creative Writing and Studio Art at Skidmore College. Born in and native to Massachusetts, Kelsey supplements creative jewelry design and metal smithing with a passion for fitness and Boston Bruins hockey. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_thornFollow her on Instagram: @kelsey_thorn