First off, if you’ve made it to this point in the application process, I have one thing to say:
Applying to any sort of school today is no easy task, and that moment when you finally click “Submit” or drop an envelope into the mail represents months of hard work. So before you go looking for something else to stress out about, take a few days or weeks to just relax. Catch up on your favorite TV show, finally get started on those books you got for Christmas, and reintroduce yourself to friends.
But if you’re like most applicants, you’re probably never going to fully shake that small, nagging voice in the back of your head. That voice that constantly asks, “Can I do anything else?” After all, while submitting your applications should be a moment of accomplishment and relief, it’s also the moment at which you no longer have control over the admissions process.
While you can’t go back and change anything on your application after it’s submitted, there are some things you can do even after deadlines have come and gone to make your life easier.
1. Be confident and don’t overanalyze. Once your application is submitted, it’s out of your hands. Instead of worrying about whether you could have done anything different or better, be confident that you did your best. That mindset will make waiting for a decision much less stressful.
2. Use the scheduling skills you built while applying in other areas of your life. Applying to any sort of school requires careful planning and scheduling. You have to be aware of multiple deadlines, keep track of diverse requirements, and put everything together while simultaneously balancing everything else in your life. Now that you’re no longer applying, find ways to incorporate your now-honed scheduling and time-management skills into your daily life. Doing so can make school assignments easier, improve your performance at work, and ultimately leave you with more time to pursue other passions and interests.
3. Keep writing. If you’re in school, this probably won’t be a choice. But even if you’re not, find ways to keep your writing skills honed. Start keeping a journal, write letters to the editor, correspond with old friends or relatives, write a short story, or do something completely different. Writing skills are just like muscles. If you don’t use them regularly, they’ll start to deteriorate.
4. Search for scholarships. I don’t need to tell you that school is extremely expensive nowadays, so you should start searching for scholarships as soon as you are ready. ScholarshipOwl is a great place to start.