Undergraduate Admission Blog

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February 26, 2015

Surviving the Waiting Game

dog-wait-doorOur freshman application deadlines have passed which means we are in the thick of file review. The chatty nature of recruitment and catching up with colleagues is replaced by quiet concentration in cubicles as we review thousands of applications. I love file review and getting to read the stories of my applicants but also know that now thousands of applicants are now twiddling their thumbs waiting for a decision. A lot goes in to the review of an application and we take this responsibility quite seriously but I promise you April 1 seems just as far away to us as it does to you.

I applied and was admitted early decision to college. I found out in mid-December, almost 11 years ago, and in some ways it was a relief to know where I would be going the following fall but in other ways it felt like I had somehow truncated my own process. USC does not have early decision or early action programs, and I know the waiting struggle is real.

Here are some things to pass the time (once you’ve finished your homework, obvi).

1. Make an awesome playlist
2. Listen to Serial (or another podcast about something you’re interested in. Nerdette? Start Up? Pop Culture Happy Hour?)
3. Watch this video on repeat
4. Find out how to get me a job here
5. Make a list of things you want to do in your hometown before starting college
6. Take a second of video every day. Or a photo. Or write a sentence. Do something that gets you to pause and think about your day at least once. I Kickstarted this app and took a second of video my whole 27th year.

I think we spend so much of our senior year focused on college that the fun aspects of high school get muddied by anticipation and anxiety. I know not everyone loves high school but there are certainly going to be aspects of it that you will miss. Perhaps it is your athletic team, a specific teacher, the drive to or from school, the lunch table you always sit at with your friends. Whatever it is, try to engage with and remember those things instead of worrying about which schools you are waiting to hear from. You’ve worked hard to submit a strong application and now we work hard to give it a fair review which, like most things, takes time.


  1. Sierra says:

    I know April 1 is the deadline for freshman admission decisions, but I read somewhere that this was for transfers too, which is incorrect right? Also, do transfers receive decisions in different times based on what school they applied to? I applied to the Keck School of Medicine, so does this mean I will receive my admission decision at a different time than students who applied to Dornsife or another school?

    • Sam Schreiber says:

      Hi Sierra,

      Transfers will hear from us by June 1 with a decision or a request for spring grades regardless of the department. We are wrapping up freshman review shortly and will be working hard on transfer review right after!

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Sabrina Close says:

    Thank you. The golden retrievers are a wonderful distraction 🙂

  3. Theresa Wegher-Thompson says:

    Thank you for putting something like this up! I haven’t seen anything like this from the other schools I applied to, and I think it is wonderful. USC has such a warm vibe; I love it.

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