Thursday, February 18, 2016

I was Accepted ... Now What?

Hi everyone! We are entering a very exciting time in the next few weeks ... COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE LETTERS are mailed out! Some universities do rolling admissions, so you may have already heard your decision, which was hopefully favorable for you! Because of this exciting time, I wanted to provide you all with some advice on what you should do once you learn that you are accepted to a university!

First things first, CONGRATULATIONS!! Getting accepted to college is a dream come true, whether you are applying to community colleges, state schools, small private colleges, or the most elite universities, it is a-okay to be excited about your acceptance! I cried when I got the phone call that I was accepted to my undergraduate alma mater because I was so happy and so excited about what was to come! This is an accomplishment in its own right, so be proud of it!

You may also want to celebrate with your family and your friends about your acceptance to college. Bake a cake, go out to a nice restaurant, blow up some balloons, and throw some confetti! You are entering the next phase of your life and it is a cause for celebration. It doesn't need to be outlandish or ridiculously expensive of course, just make it a great time to recognize where you've come and where you are possibly going!

Once you go to school the next day or a few days following, you will want to update your school counselor and the teachers/administrators who wrote your letters of recommendation. They will want to hear the update and this also gives you the opportunity to thank them for their help and support of your college application! If you want to tell your friends and other teachers, go right ahead, but don't feel obligated to inform the whole world. --This is the same for updating on social media. Obviously, if you want to update your Facebook status or post a picture of your acceptance letter to Instagram, then definitely do it, but don't feel like this is an obligatory aspect of your college acceptance!

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Plan to visit campus one more time! You can check out my post here on the difference between your first and last visit to campus, but you really should try to see campus once more before making your final decision. You can take a more in-depth look at the major you want to study and possibly talk with some administrators in the functional areas you are interested in, e.g.: Campus Ministry, Athletics, or Study Abroad Office. Most universities have Admitted Student Days, so that would be a nice chance to visit too.

At this point you should have already filed your FAFSA, but if you haven't, make sure you do that! This can give you access to more financial aid opportunities, federal loans, grants that you don't have to pay back ... so many things to help make college a little more affordable. You should also check out even more scholarships that you can apply for on that campus and throughout your community. If you have any questions or concerns about your financial aid packet once it is sent to you, be sure to call the Financial Aid Office or make an appointment to discuss particulars in person. DISCLAIMER: Don't be upset when they can't offer you any more money, a lot of times there is no amount of begging or pleading that can be done for them to find available money and give you an extra $5,000 a semester.

Without a doubt, something you should do is join that university's Facebook page for your class year. There will be administrators and upperclassmen already on that page to help answer your questions and you can also meet potential classmates of yours! Some of my first "Facebook Friends" from college came from the Class of 2014 page I joined once I was accepted and really interested in going to my alma mater. You can find people in your major or who are interested in some of the other extra-curriculars in your life, so definitely don't blow it off as something unimportant.

Finally, my advice to you is RELAX. The first and most draining part of the process is done, you have been accepted somewhere and you do have a future in college, so don't stress out. Enjoy the rest of your senior year and make sure you still keep your grades up, the university will request your final transcript!

Have you already been accepted? How did you celebrate? Share in the comments your acceptance stories :)

enjoy the chase,

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