1. Try your best to stay calm.
The intense ramp-up can make college decisions seem like the end-all and be-all of your life thus far. THEY ARE NOT. One way or the other, YOU WILL pursue the education you want and deserve.
2. Resist the urge to discuss hypothetical outcomes that are now out of your hands.
Your friends are already anxious beyond belief. Don’t be the nag who adds fuel to the fire.
3. Ignore oversharers.
To preserve your sanity, avoid those who can’t keep their panic to themselves until the college decision dust has settled.
4. Manage expectations and keep an open mind. REMEMBER: There’s no such thing as one “perfect” school.
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. You can thrive wherever you end up.
5. Avoid buying presumptuous college swag. TEMPT FATE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
A side note to parents: avoid subjecting your little ones to this dangerous voodoo.
6. Reevaluate who you follow on Twitter.
You should probably unfollow this guy, if only for a few weeks.
7. And if things go your way, be respectful of those who follow YOU.
True victors keep their achievements close to the vest.
This especially applies to “likely letters,” which are sure to make less lucky friends anxious, if not downright resentful.
8. Keep in mind that one man’s safety school is another man’s pipe dream. BE CONSIDERATE.
9. If you must post online about college acceptance news, DO consider punctuation, grammar, and correct spelling.
If not for clarity, at least for dignity.
10. No matter how nervous you are, DO NOT ask someone else to open your envelope or admissions email.
It may seem like a good idea, but if the news is bad, the awkwardness is insurmountable. Like a bandaid, just tear the sucker open (or click on the scary email).
11. Avoid learning the news in the company of too many spectators.
You are just asking for a sticky situation.
ALSO: DO NOT open admissions decisions with friends, at the same time and in the same place. Someone is bound to be traumatized.
12. If you don’t get the news you were hoping for, focus on the positive.
13. Keep perspective: college admissions are NOT a referendum on your worth as a human being.
Admissions officers don’t know you, and they are fallible people making subjective decisions based on limited information. Take a lesson from this kid:
14. If you don’t get into your top choice school, focus on the awesome things your other school options offer.
Experts argue that it’s less about where you go and more about what you do once you get there. The future is bright!
15. After good news and bad, be there for your friends.
Competition can be an ugly beast, but these moments are what friendships are made of.
16. Plan for the post-decision aftermath.
Brave the awkwardness and LET OUT THOSE FEELS. Plan a sleepover when you and your friends can hash it all out.
17. Focus on the present! Relish these last few breaths of childhood.
Never again will you live a life so free of obligations and real-world consequences.
18. Remember that everyone is proud of you. Believe them. Enjoy your accomplishments.
Nothing says “I’m proud” like some hand-carved bananas.
19. Even if you’re disappointed, remember that getting into college is just one of the many situations in life over which you have limited control. Life is not fair, but you will prevail.
20. And keep in mind, no matter where you go to college, these things will DEFINITELY be available to you.