You hit the "submit" button on your final college application. You take a deep breath and immediately begin to worry that you missed some critical information. What are you supposed to do now?
1. Relax a little. Focus on enjoying your senior year and find activities you enjoy to distract you. Applying to colleges is hard work and you deserve a break!
2. Reward yourself. Try setting up a system where you make a big purchase or take a trip when you finish applications. It's a two-fold system: motivation to finish your applications, and another way to distract yourself from the post-submission stress.
3. Keep researching the schools. DO NOT OBSESS, but ask questions about each college and what it has to offer. You may come across something that will drastically alter your decision - perhaps one college has a major you love, or another college offers a large merit scholarship you hadn't seen before.
4. Apply for scholarships. College is expensive (ugh). Find a free online scholarship search engine and apply for as many as you possibly can. You may be surprised by the difference several scholarships can make. Make sure you know the difference between grants, loans, etc.
5. Focus on your high school classes. Senioritis is a real thing, people! I suffered from it for five solid months. You never know when a college will want to see your spring grades, so keep 'em up! They may have hesitations if a student with a 3.9 GPA has a spring GPA of 2.4. Think of it as practice for entering college... planning ahead, managing time, study skills, and being self-disciplined.
6. After a few weeks, give school admissions' offices a call to make sure all of your information has been submitted. They will likely contact you if something is missing, but just in case anything falls through the cracks, you should touch base with them. Again, DON'T OBSESS. DO NOT call admissions multiple times over several days, unless there is a problem you're trying to figure out.
7. Attend prospective student events at the schools where you applied. Many colleges offer programs specifically for admitted students. For example, RIT holds two accepted student open houses on campus in April, before the May 1st national decision deadline day. RIT also sends admissions counselors, current students, and alums to a few cities throughout the country to host accepted student receptions. Try to make it to one or both of these events so you can get to know the school better and prepare yourself for the next steps. This could help with your decision-making process.