Congrats, high school seniors! You have gotten through the worst part of the college application process. So, please give yourself a huge pat on the back; now is a time for a big sigh of relief. BUT it's also a time to be a high school student and future college student. "What should I do?" you ask?
- Fill Out The FAFSA: The sooner you fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) the better because this determines whether or not you receive financial aid and the amount of aid you receive. Also, the FAFSA should be filled out even if you don’t think you qualify for aid. Why? Because this application is also utilized by many colleges and universities to decide scholarships or grants. Keep in Mind: Every college has their own FAFSA deadline. https://fafsa.ed.gov/
- Stay Focused in School: When I was in your shoes 3 years ago I fell slight victim to the dreaded Senioritis. Get out of the mindset that colleges don’t look at your grades after you’ve been accepted. They certainly do and they hold the right to rescind their offer of acceptance! Furthermore, in the case of being deferred or waitlisted, your grades will play an important role in the final verdict of admission. So continue being a dedicated and hardworking high school student!
- Don’t Stress: I know, waiting to hear back from schools that you have applied to is stressful, but keep a positive mindset. You did what you needed to do, so now is the time for confidence and, before you know it, you’ll be shopping for your dorm room curtains! Moreover, know that there are different paths in life and a dream school doesn’t have to be your only path. It’s what YOU bring to your college experience that really matters.
- Celebrate and Relax: After I submitted my last college application the first thing I did was breathe a sigh of relief. I then spent the night watching YouTube and simply relaxing. Know this: You have gotten through a tremendous hurdle so give yourself time to celebrate! Do all of the things you wish you could have while applying. Watch that movie. Spent the morning laying in bed without a care in the world. Hang out with your friends. Most importantly, be excited for your last year of high school and the future possibilities that await you.
Xoë Nunez is a junior at Rutgers University majoring in Communication with specializations in Strategic Public Communications and Public Relations/Health and Wellness Communication. She is also minoring in Digital Communication, Information and Media. Xoë is a member of the National Communication Association Honor Society and her university’s Operation Smile chapter as the Public Relations co-Chair.