The first two early app finish lines have passed, and I know you’re all ready for a break and a deep breath!
*Don’t go back and reread your apps over and over — you’ll find typos and little mistakes. You’re human, and humans make mistakes.
*And if you do happen to find something that’s driving you crazy or that really must be fixed, read from the college how to best update your application — usually it’s on the portal or by email — you’ll need to read the specific directions from each school. Don’t panic — they know mistakes happen. They happen every year.
Even after all your apps are in, though, you need to be sure you’re covering a few things. Here’s a list to keep up with what happens next.
Be sure to:
1. Look for emails from your colleges with directions how to create your portals and create them. Be sure to check the spam and junk folders.
2. Make your accounts and log into the portals. Check to see what’s missing — but know if can take up to a week for materials to upload.
3. Make sure your supplement was submitted on the Common App. It can sometimes be left behind the way that some colleges have it organized on the Common App.
4. Send any test scores that still need to be sent to your other colleges. Don’t wait until the deadlines. Test scores can be sent before the application.
5. Follow up with your teacher recommenders and see if they need anything from you to facilitate sending letters if they haven’t yet done so.
6. Write thank you notes to your recommenders. They aren’t paid extra and it’s usually not included in their job descriptions. They do it to help you.
7. Check all your portals from your colleges regularly to make sure they’re not missing anything. That’s how they will communicate with you.
8. Check your junk mail and spam inboxes often to be on the lookout for messages from colleges and interviewers.
9. Check your voicemail and texts to be on the lookout for messages from interviewers. Make sure voicemail is set up and the message is appropriate.
10. Follow up with your high school counselor to make sure that all is good there and that y’all are on the same page and you’ve done everything they’re expecting of them.
11. Make sure your Naviance list is complete and updated if your school uses Naviance.
12. Consider reaching out to your regional admissions officers at the colleges where you’re applying to say hello and introduce yourself and ask any questions you might have. It’s ok to reach out to them with questions you can’t easily find via google or on the website.
13. Open every email from all the colleges where you’ve applied, and click on all the links. This is where they will share important info about your application with you.
14. Take some time to breathe, recharge batteries, get outside, read a book, do yoga, have a dance party in your room or meditate!!
15. One more thing — Vote this week
— if you live in the US and you’re at least 18, it’s your responsibility. The future of our country depends on you.
BREATHE. You did a great job and you’re now officially an early app badass!
Carolyn Caplan is an independent college counselor, a moderator on r/ApplyingToCollege, and the author of Hey AdmissionsMom: Real Talk from Reddit. She’s on a one-woman mission to bring mindfulness to college admissions.