Undergraduate Admission Blog

Follow the Official USC Undergraduate Admission Blog for information, advice, and a behind-the-scenes look at our process

December 15, 2016

And Now…We Wait

USC clock

My friends and family know not to call me in December.  This is the time of year that I ignore their texts so I can stay immersed in your essay and when I take the later train home so I can finish tracking down your transcript.  The weirdness of the admission cycle is that high schools and colleges are always out of sync–your breaks are our busy months and vice versa.  When I’m working away to make my deadlines, you’ve already met yours!  My crazy December means that you now have to do one of the hardest things in the world…wait.

Waiting is the worst.  You’ve just spent months hustling to get everything together to apply, and the change in pace can really drag you down.  So how can you use your time more effectively as you count down to the day you’ll hear back from USC?

  • Do your homework: Not only is this cold and flu season, it’s also the time of year that the first symptoms of senioritis start to appear. The prospect of life after high school is definitely exciting, but don’t forget the here and now. Study for your midterms, finish your assignments. Your grades still matter!
  • Support your friends: If you’re anxious to hear back from colleges, it’s likely your friends are too–so don’t feed the beast!  Distract them (and yourself) from the college process for a while (I recommend binge watching every comedy you can find on Netflix), and when you all start hearing back from the colleges you applied to, cheer for their triumphs and comfort them through their tribulations.  Know that it all works out in the end!
  • Reevaluate your admissions strategy: Odds are that you have applied to a college or two by their ED/EA/REA/XYZ deadline.  You will likely hear back from those schools around this time (sorry–you still have to wait another month to hear back about USC scholarships!).  The news you get may affect how you proceed through your college process, and likely should!  This is especially true if you applied early decision somewhere and got in…congratulations! We’re excited for you–now withdraw your application to USC, please!
  • Thank your counselors and teachers: Right around our December 1st deadline I received some nice notes from you thanking me for any guidance I might have given and for reading your application.  The people who really deserve the thanks, however, are the counselors and teachers who spent so much time advising you, editing your essays, and writing you fantastic letters of recommendation!  Now that your application is in, pop on by to catch up and let them know you appreciate their help in this process.
  • Apply to USC: You missed our scholarship deadline? No worries!  You have until January 15th to submit your common app for our regular decision process.  Winter break is a great time to hammer out any final applications, so get moving!

If all else fails, make yourself an advent calendar to carry you through late January.  Nothing eases a count down like a daily treat!