7 Important Things To Remember When You're Waiting To Hear Back From Your Dream College

The college application process is such a waiting game. First, you go on a bunch of campus tours. Then, you apply to your favorites and research how to build the perfect resumé. Last but not least, you sit at home and wonder when you'll get that email or package from your dream school. Soon enough, something will come. But for now, when you're waiting to hear from your dream college, keep a few things in mind.

The universe knows exactly what it's up to — I'm sure of it. As cliché as it may sound, everything happens for a reason. A few years down the road, you'll realize you're right where you're supposed to be, and that the things you once wished for you were better off without. You'll watch some doors close and others open, and new people and passions come into your life. I've seen it happen a thousand times for myself, and it's beautiful and nerve-racking all at the same time.

Yes, it's hard not to stress over what could've been, or even more so, what could be. You rush to your mailbox every day after school, and cross your fingers that there's an acceptance letter waiting inside saying, "You're in!" Girl, my fingers are crossed in hopes that all of your dreams come true. But, while you're waiting for the next adventure to begin, keep these seven things in mind.

Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, and wastes a lot of your mental and emotional energy. But, it's also quite inevitable when you're going through the college application process. You want to stand out amongst all the other candidates, and are watching people in your class get into these highly competitive programs, hoping that there's a spot for you, too.

Do yourself a favor, and don't worry about anyone but yourself. You're on your very own path, and everybody achieves success at a different rate. In fact, everyone's definition of success is different. Be proud of yourself for shooting for the stars, and landing right where you're supposed to be.

Stay Focused On What's Happening Right Now

As much as you want to look toward the future, try and focus on the present as much as possible. Truth is, there's so much going on your senior year of high school or in this current moment of your life. Don't miss out on the joy of pep rallies, the opportunity to be captain for your field hockey team, or learning something new in art class, just because you've got college on your mind.

You're living the dream right now, because you're in this amazing chapter of your life that revolves around change. Nothing will be the same a year from now, so soak in your surroundings and chatting with your bestie at your locker while you can.

Explore Your Options And Passions

You applied to your dream college for a reason. It had the most competitive program for computer science, the location of the campus is ideal, or maybe one of your family members went there and you want to carry on the tradition. That's all good, and you should chase those dreams as far as you can. But, while you're waiting to hear back, don't be afraid to explore your other options and passions.

One of the biggest regrets some of us have about college is not reaching farther out into the world — seeing what other school's are offering in terms of programs or extracurriculars, and staying open-minded.

You may discover during this process that you're super passionate about teaching or graphic design, and decide to change course. That's all good, too, and you'll be thankful that you didn't say "no" to anything that came your way.

Build Your Portfolio As Much As Possible

Depending on the type of school or program you're applying to, you may have to submit a portfolio or build your own website. At first, it appears like a lot of work, and you're not totally wrong. But, it's worth putting together your various projects and accomplishments to show the world what you're capable of.

While you're waiting to hear back from your dream school, keep in mind that you should always be adding to your portfolio. It's a way to showcase your work, what you're passionate about, and who you are as a person, and keeps you motivated to reach your goals. And if it's something you truly enjoy and care about, it can be a little fun, right?

Work And Save Some Money In Your Spare Time

Waiting for an answer from your dream school is no different than watching paint dry. The longer you stare, the slower the process seems to go. So, instead of using your time for stress and frustration, channel your energy into work and saving some money.

Truth is, college can get expensive. There's tuition, technology you need for class, books, and some spending money for when you're tired of the dining hall food. It adds up! Working and learning some tricks on how to save money on books or dorm decor is one of the best decisions you can make right now.

Get Excited About Other Parts Of College

OK, so you picked your dream school for a few reasons. But, what aspects of college are you excited about that you can experience just about anywhere? Well, there's bonding with your roommate and going to orientation. You might be planning on joining a sorority, or finding a club to call your own. Those sorts of things are a key part of the overall experience, and will make wherever you end up feel like home.

So, while you wait for a response, be sure to shift your mindset. Be ready for the next adventure, and realize that there's so much in store. Getting that degree is so important, but so is getting out into the world and becoming, well, you.

Remember: Everything Happens For A Reason

Seriously: Everything happens for a reason. As much as you may want to go to your dream school, sometimes it's just not in the cards. (And it's not personal.) The pool of applicants was likely too big and competitive, and the administration was left making some tough decisions. Rejection is never fun, but try your best not to dwell on it.

The universe is in the process of handing you something even bigger and better. You may move onto your new college campus in the fall and realize that the program and dorm room situation is way better than that other school, or meet lifelong friends you wouldn't have otherwise.

There's is always something to be hopeful for, and dreams can change just like anything else in life. Keeping a few things in mind during the "waiting game" makes the process much easier. Really hear me out on this one, OK?