How to Handle College Acceptance Decision Day

You’ve stressed. You’ve worked hard. You’ve finally gotten your test scores. You’ve nervously clicked “submit.” You’ve waited. And waited. And waited some more.


Finally, decision day is here!


What do you do now?!

Plan where you’ll be when decisions become available

You’ll want to be in a safe, comfortable place where you’ll feel supported no matter what the decision may be. You can scream or cry in excitement or sadness without anyone there to judge you.

At the very least, you probably won’t want to be sitting in a class where you’re not allowed to use a computer. You’ll be dying to check the entire time.

Reschedule anything you have to do that you can’t be distracted for

Try to reschedule any important tests or presentations on that day. You’ll likely be distracted the entire time thinking about that acceptance or rejection letter. When your mind is somewhere else, it’s hard to do well. Take the test when you can devote all of your mental energy to it.

If it’s possible, it might even be nice to take the whole day of school off. If you’re not really there, then don’t go.

Try to calm down

This will definitely be one of the more stressful days in your life. You’ll likely be jittery and have a hard time keeping still. Do whatever it takes for you to relax.

  • Drink some decaffeinated tea.
  • Work out.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Squeeze a stress ball.
  • Take a hot bath or shower.
  • Smell some lavender.
  • Cuddle with your pet.
  • Watch a funny TV show or movie.

If you are calm, you will likely be less upset if the decision is not the one you wanted.

Reward yourself (whether you get in or not)

Whether you want to go out to dinner with friends, see a movie with family, or eat too much ice cream while watching Netflix, give yourself a reward after you’ve found out the decision. You deserve it after all of that hard work!

If you’re celebrating, great! If not, at least you’re doing something that will make you happy and take your mind off of the bad news.

P.S. Wondering how to handle college acceptance season gracefully? Click here.


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  • Nadira Berman

    As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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