March is the cruelest month, right? (Sorry, Shakespeare.) Now that you've entered the home stretch of the college application process, here is some advice to get you through it.
1. Make double, triple sure that ALL of your applications are complete. If you discovered that something was missing, follow up and make sure it got there. Doublecheck that all of the colleges got the Midyear Report from your school. An incomplete application gets you nowhere. Now is your last chance to complete it.
2. Do some research and find out WHEN AND HOW the colleges you have applied to will be releasing their decisions. Check the college websites. Put that on your calendar, so you know when to freak out and when to relax.
3. Do your best to "check out" and ignore all gossip, rumors, and information from any source other than the college itself. Nothing you learn on College Confidential, from other kids in your class, or from friends is reliable. Really. They don't mean to give you bad information; they just don't know.
4. Limit yourself to checking email, mail, and websites to once a day if you can. Compulsive, obsessive behavior doesn't change the college's decision; it just makes you crazier (even though it feels good temporarily).
Anna Ivey is one of the founders of Inline. An experienced admissions consultant and a frequently cited media expert on the topic of college admissions, she is also co-author of the book How to Prepare a Standout College Application. Learn more about Anna's background here.