• College Counseling
It Depends, A College Counseling Blog Series: What to Do While Waiting for College Decisions


Editor’s Note: 

It Depends is a series from the Office of College Counseling, that aims to answer some common questions asked by students and families as they navigate the college search and application process, within the context of today’s world, with today’s technology.   

Check back monthly as Co-Director of College Counseling Keegan Ash poses frequently asked questions to ChatGPT and analyzes the responses, going deeper than the generic replies by reminding us, “it depends.” 


Welcome to It Depends, a blog series from the College Counseling Office.  

In each post, I will pose a question to ChatGPT about the college process and then respond and add perspective to the AI generated response. The goal is to provide the general content anyone could find on internet forums, or websites, or through AI, but to go one step further and add the expertise, experience, and perspective of an experienced counselor. 

AI content will be displayed in normal text, while my comments will be purple and bolded to distinguish between the two perspectives. 


Let's get started.  

Question: What to Do While Waiting for College Decisions

I get asked this a lot. Like the blog is titled, it depends. It depends on what you enjoy, what your concerns are and what will empower you and help you. So, let’s dive in and see what AI thinks you should do…


Waiting for college decisions can be an anxious and uncertain time. However, there are productive and positive steps you can take to make the most of this waiting period. Here are some suggestions:

Before we even start, let’s acknowledge that this time is the WORST! Waiting is really, really tough. It’s not fun. We’re not going to pretend that that it’s fun. So, let’s agree that it isn’t fun, but how do we make the most of it. ChatGPT doesn’t really admit that this is tough, but your counselors get it.


1.  Focus on self-care: Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

This is always important, but now so more than ever. Sitting, stressing and worrying only punishes yourself. So, stick to the rhythm. Don’t stop working out. Don’t seclude and wait. Worrying won’t help so why waste energy on it?

2.  Explore new interests: Use this time to discover new hobbies or delve deeper into existing ones. Engage in activities that ignite your passion and allow you to develop new skills or knowledge.

ENGAGE! Try something new. During the fall, you dedicated so much time to college applications, that now you have more time to try something. Spend the time doing activities that challenge you or are rewarding.


3.  Volunteer or get involved in your community: Give back to your community by volunteering for local organizations or charities. Not only will you be making a positive impact, but you'll also gain valuable experiences and connections.

This is always good advice, but this can also be tough to do while waiting. If you applied for Early Action, you may only have a few weeks left to wait, but community service can be a fantastic way to spend your time. Volunteering can be great because it distracts you and it provides some perspective. If you’re stressed out because you’re waiting on decisions, helping those less fortunate can remind you that you’re waiting on which colleges are going to accept you.

4.  Reflect on your goals: Take this opportunity to reflect on your personal and academic goals. Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Use this self-reflection to refine your career aspirations and consider potential majors or fields of study.

PLEASE don’t wait until the new year to set some goals. Do it now and put that determination and work ethic you put into your college apps into something new.

5.  Research and plan for the future: Spend time researching potential colleges, majors, and career paths. Explore different universities and their programs to get a better understanding of your options. Use this information to start creating a list of potential colleges to apply to or to narrow down your choices.

Ehhh… I don’t know about this. It just makes you spin because there are too many unknowns. I would devote a ton of time to this after you do know where you’ll be enrolling.

6.  Improve your skills: Identify areas where you want to enhance your skills or knowledge. Take online courses, attend workshops, or participate in relevant webinars to develop your abilities in areas that align with your interests and career goals.

This could be a little controversial, but what if you thought about taking an online college course? Some students may not be able to because of workload. If you have too many AP classes, this may be too much and would only stress you even more. If you have the time to handle it, consider if you can enroll in an online college course. Ideally, look for an asynchronous course. That way if you have a busy week, you can come back to the work. This way, you can use that time to be earning college credit ahead of time!

Remember, waiting for college decisions is just one part of your journey. Use this time wisely to focus on personal growth, explore your passions, and prepare for the exciting next chapter of your life.

That’s not a bad closing. This is your time so use it how you want, but let’s be clear: you are not being judged. That’s not what you’re waiting on. You’re just waiting for colleges to tell you if they’re the right fit for you!


. . . 

The college process is filled with nuances, and as the name of this blog series reiterates, a lot of this process comes down to context.  The answers to many questions will be “it depends.”   The College Counseling Office is here to give the best advice possible within that context.  Our student-centered approach is focused on meeting the needs of our students while keeping their goals in mind -- and celebrating them along the way.  

If you have additional questions, schedule a time to speak with your counselor.  You can use the links below to schedule a time. 

Mr. Ash: https://calendly.com/kash-perk

Ms. Davidson-Kellogg: https://calendly.com/perk-davidson-kellogg



College Counseling at Perkiomen School

Read more by the College Counseling Department


Check out the It Depends Podcast


'It depends' is meant to lead to further discussion. It is an opportunity for us as counselors to ask follow-up questions. It is a chance for us to gather more information about each child in this process. We are student-centered.  We know every student is unique and therefore every process will be unique.    - KEEGAN ASH, Co-Director of College Counseling