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As winter break comes to a close and the new year approaches, students put the final touches on your UC college applications, whether you’re transferring or applying for the first time.

But what do you do after your words have been washed from your hands and there’s nothing to do but wait?

Here are some suggestions that may help.

1) Tour the campus.

The inside of Olson Hall.

It sounds counterintuitive – tour the campus while waiting for your decision to arrive. However, exploring UC Davis is a good way to get familiar with your potential home. You could always try to audit classes to get an idea of the academics, and purchase food at one of the many restaurants on and off-campus. You might decide you liked Davis better as an idea than as an actuality, and that’s okay!

2) Focus on schoolwork.

This Redbubble picture from user “themaelid” exemplifies carb loading and the freshman fifteen (before you even start freshman year) if you don’t study. So study, kids.

Yeah, yeah, this is the “boring” one. But it is crucial, especially if you end up being waitlisted for Davis and have to submit a report on what you’ve been up to since then – you don’t want to have near-flunking grades. (Doing crazy cool things helps with that report too, just sayin’.) If you’re taking standardized tests, like IB or AP, this is your warning not to slack off because you will experience major regretti if you do.

3) Create “rituals” with your close high school friends.

You know what “they” say, friends who cry together stay together!

If you’re the type of person to foster close relationships, it might be disconcerting to imagine a potential future where you and your best friends might not even be in the same state for long periods of time. However, making rituals with them helps! Establish something to do with your friends on a semi-consistent basis, whether it’s going to your favorite restaurants and chatting while chowing down on great food, holding half-serious, half-silly photoshoots of each other, or just driving around town. It’ll help you all feel a lot closer to each other, and even if you can’t keep those rituals consistent while you’re far away, the bonds will feel extra strengthened.

4) Get lost in a book.

Does any high school student really remember the last time they read for fun?

Honestly, when was the last time you read a book if it wasn’t for school? If you’re not an avid novel reader, pick up a nonfiction book. Or a graphic novel. Or a comic series, maybe even webtoons. Try poetry! Just let a story of any sort absorb you and help you stop ruminating on the outcome of your applications. If you can’t stop thinking about Davis, you could explore the Davis blogs, found here.

5) Soak in the familiar.

Sunsets might be the thing you like most about your town. Treasure them.

Even if you may be ecstatic to leave your town and high school as fast as possible, there most likely will be at least something you’ll miss from your hometown. It might be your family, it might be your friends, it might be the quaint bookstore no one knows about or raucous park at the center of everything. Whatever it is, spend as much time as you can reveling in the present; it whizzes by much faster than you’d anticipate, and you’ll find yourself six months in the future blinking and wondering where the time went.

Though waiting for college decisions, especially your UC decisions, is a stressful time for applicants, their parents, and their friends, hopefully following through with any of these tips helps mitigate that stress. Good luck to anyone dreaming about those acceptances!


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Janelle Marie Salanga

Hi! I'm an avid Spotify playlist maker, sock collector, and the embodiment of the "this is fine" dog in the burning house. (Also, just your normal [planned] CS major at UC Davis planning to double major in English. Or Theatre. Who knows, really.)


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