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3 Things to Do After Being Accepted Early Decision

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

The night I got accepted to my early decision school in December of 2018, I bawled.

Not of happiness, but of this creeping feeling of despair…

What if I had made the wrong choice?

Early decision rules clearly state that once you are accepted to the school you chose, there’s practically no getting out of it.

My first thought upon being accepted was of all the other doors I saw closing; I’d never get to know what other options I could have had. 

Of course, I realize I had been a tad dramatic.

Getting accepted to Northwestern University was a dream come true, and I’m nothing but grateful for the opportunities I have had since my enrollment.

So once my initial panic waned and the ensuing wave of relief and joy subsided, I felt unsure about was coming next.

High school counselors, parents and friends have long been talking about getting into college… but not once did anyone mention what to do after you get in. So here’s my advice on what to do after getting your early decision acceptance:

Enjoy the Drop in Pressure

Senior year just got a whole lot easier.

Say it with me: No more college applications.

And, in most cases, grades become far less important.

While you should keep your grades within a few steps of what your college’s admission office saw when it accepted you, very rarely are students’ acceptances withdrawn for sub-par grades in second semester.

A good rule of thumb is to keep them above a C average.

Spend Time with the People You’ll Miss

With your college plans for next year set, now is a great time to dedicate to friends and family you’ll miss when you’re away at college. In just a few short months, you’ll be heading off on a new venture, and many of those people will be staying behind.

And while going off to college isn’t a death sentence for your already-established social life, you’re probably not going to be the same person then as you are now.

So embrace the present. Going to your favorite 24/7 diner with your crew will never feel the same once you go your separate ways, even when you try your hardest to recreate it.

Senior year is bittersweet, but relish in it.

Stay Out of Trouble

Nothing is worse than being that kid, the one parents use as fodder for their scared-straight stories to get their own kids to tell their kids about to fall in line.

While slipping grades might not get your acceptance called back, behavioral problems at school or with the law might.

Miiiiight want to rethink that rager during senior week.

That’s because most universities require you and your high school to inform them of any disciplinary action taken against you between the time of acceptance and the time you arrive on campus.

If your school does rescind your acceptance, it will be too late for you to apply to other schools.

Then, you’ll likely have to take a gap year, and, even if you do, you’ll still have to report any tangles with the law on your next application.

Still Awaiting an ED Acceptance? Read This & Relax

Watch Your Inbox (and Mailbox) Closely

Your college will have a lot of pertinent information to share with you in the months leading up to your first day. While it can be tempting to delete these sometimes rambling emails or quickly tossing flyers into the recycling bin, doing so can almost guarantee you’re missing out on something.

In my second semester of high school, I paid attention to all the correspondence and quickly set up my payment method for tuition, picked where I would live, attended multiple new student mingling events, and more.

Even if you miss something, though, any loose ends will be tied up during orientation in the fall.

And, no matter how far behind you feel you are with pre-college to-dos, there is always someone more oblivious than you are.

Take It All In

All in all, take price in your acceptance. Relax and reflect on your high school experience and your childhood. You might never again have a period of time that feels so freeing and without responsibilities. Enjoy it while you can!

Author: Jenna Spray

Jenna is a second year journalism student at Northwestern University with a concentration in law. She writes about fitness and relationships for Her Campus Northwestern and works on the corporate section of her school’s most popular magazine, North by Northwestern. In her free time, Jenna likes to sail, go to the gym, and eat pasta with her friends.