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Articles / Applying to College / Can I relax now that I've been accepted?

Can I relax now that I've been accepted?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 10, 2002

Question: I got into my first-choice college. Is it safe to relax now?

Congratulations on getting into your first-choice college. It's always good to hear that. While you can take pride and satisfaction about your accomplishment, I would be careful about that word "relax."

Even though your short-term goal was to get into your first-choice school (which you've done), you must now focus on being successful there. That will take sustained effort. At this point, in the spring of your senior year, there is a mighty temptation to cruise. Avoid yielding to that temptation.

Your overall high school record has been one of achievement. That's evident from the fact that you were accepted by your first-choice college. Since it's unlikely that you could jeopardize your acceptance even with a huge academic letdown at this late stage of the year, you could set yourself up for some bad habits in college.

Academic crashing is a time-honored tradition in the halls of ivy. The famed all-nighters to finish papers or to cram for exams are part of college lore. What you should aim for, however, is a sustained style of work and learning. A steady pace tends to win out in the long run. It's a tortoise-versus-hare thing. That's more than likely the style that got you into college. Don't develop any bad habits now that your on college's doorstep.

My advice to you is to enjoy the remainder of your senior year. BUT finish what you've started. Don't let any of your grades drop. Do your best on your finals. Follow through on your year-end projects. Be consistent.

Keep the ball rolling over the summer. Get a head start on freshman English by reading some classics. If you don't know what to read, ask your school's AP English teacher for a reading list. You'll get a jump on college and have some fun doing it.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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