Oberlin Blogs

Waiting for College Decisions

March 13, 2024

Chloe Martin '27

Waiting to hear back from colleges is undoubtedly one of the hardest parts of your senior year. Since I applied via early decision to Oberlin, it meant that my December was a stressful time for me, whereas the majority of my friends were still in the process of completing applications. On the flip side, since most of my friends applied regular decision to their colleges it meant that March was a time in which I helped to distract them from worrying instead. The benefit of going through my application cycle earlier than my friends was that I knew what helped me distract myself from my stress, as well as how to give them some advice I wish that I had during that time. 

For me and my friends, the best way for us to handle this time was to find fun distractions that helped us minimize our stress as well as to stay in the moment and enjoy one of the most exciting times of our lives. To this end, I’ve compiled a short list of what helped me stay positive and unstressed during this time, as well as what I wish I had done differently--I hope it helps!


1) Slideshow night with friends. Here’s the idea behind this one: you and your friends all make and present powerpoint presentations on the wildest things you can think of. It can be anything from a deep dive into the history of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream graveyard (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up immediately) to why the 2005 Pride and Prejudice is obviously the best version of the movie. After everyone has completed their slideshow, then grab some snacks and have everyone present to the group! It’s not only a fun evening, but also a very effective distraction.

2) Get active. I’m the least athletic person in my friend group, but while I was waiting for college decisions I found myself feeling eager to go back to the gym. While most people consider going to the gym to include a stereotypical workout, what I would actually do is box with my sister and friend! It’s something that, at a basic level, you really don’t need prior skill for, and it’s also really fun. To be honest, I thought me and my friends looked pretty funny flailing around trying to punch and kick a bag twice the size of ourselves, which made it all the more enjoyable. So maybe give boxing a ago, or try another sport all together. Maybe goat yoga is your thing, who knows?

3) Movie night with themed foods. This idea combines two of the most distracting things possible: cooking and watching TV. I’m a huge fan of all things Disney, so I had a lot of fun thinking up and then executing themed dinners. After we ate our meal my family and I would watch the movie that the dinner was based off of, or sometimes we would even play a game (Disney charades is always a hit). Pictured below is one of my favorite meals that I ever thought up-- crab cakes for The Little Mermaid night! 

Sebastian crab cakes for my Little Mermaid night.
Sebastian crab cakes!

4) Do some journaling. Something that I found helpful during this time was doing short journaling exercises before school or in the evening before bed. I would spend a few minutes writing down what I thought the best part of my day would be, how I imagined my life looking in five years, or sometimes I would even write a list of constants in my life. For me, the most stressful part of waiting to hear back from colleges was that I didn’t have a clear view of what my future would look like. So thinking about things in my life that would stay the same for the next year or five years really helped to lessen my anxiety. 

5) Competitive game picnic. I love playing board games, but more specifically I love winning at board games. Unfortunately for me, so do all of my friends and family. This makes game night pretty fun, and highly competitive. Something I enjoyed doing with my friends was having competitive game picnics during which we would all bring one food item and one game. Then, we would sit for hours and play games and eat yummy snacks. Even if you don’t like board games, anything with an element of competition is always distracting. 

6) Boba run with friends. While I was a very private person in regards to college applications, I know that many people aren’t. Earlier this week I was talking with my friends about how they navigated the stress and excitement of college decisions. One of my friends, Chloe (yes, having two of us makes things pretty funny in the friend group), told me about how she and her friends would go out for bubble tea while also talking about how each of them were doing. They would talk about their worries, enthusiasm, and general feelings regarding college applications and decisions. In fact, Chloe told me they talked about it so much that they actually got bored of talking about it. What better way to not worry about college than to be able to both freely talk about it with friends, all while also being able to let go of the ever-present college application thoughts. 

My friend Chloe getting boba with her friends.
My friend Chloe getting boba with her friends.

I hope you can use some of these ideas in your life, or at the very least draw some inspiration to form your own ideas. Remember that your senior year is a really big part of your life. It’s a time of change, excitement, and nervousness. Don’t spend so much time thinking about the future that you miss out on the present. Remember that you have a fantastic future ahead of you, and that the future can look like many different things. All in all, I hope this blog helps you come up with some ideas for distracting yourself and maybe even lets you have some fun! 

Similar Blog Entries