20 Ways to Relax After Submitting Your College Application

You’ve submitted your first college application! Now what? Here are 20 ways you can relax and celebrate being an official college applicant.

By Madeleine Lee November 23, 2020
student reading a book in a hammock

You’ve submitted your first college application! Now what? First and foremost, congratulations! You are officially a college applicant. After all of the time and effort you put into building your application, I hope you feel proud of yourself for all that you have accomplished thus far. I also hope you feel quite relieved! Now, it’s time to celebrate!

Charlie Brown Christmas

I know it can be difficult to not think about the next cycle of applications – if you are considering it – and when to expect your college decisions. I remember constantly checking my email and anticipating updates from schools when I was in your shoes. While I was waiting for my decisions, I found it super helpful to take a break from thinking about college and find something fun to do. Here are 20 things you can do to relax right now:

  1. Bake chocolate chip cookies. 
  2. Create a playlist. Make one for yourself or your friends!
  3. Write in a journal. Use this space to jot down your thoughts and ideas. What are you looking forward to? What was it like applying to college during a pandemic? What is something you have been enjoying lately?
  4. Catch up on sleep
  5. Get moving. Dance, go for a run,or try a workout! 
  6. Facetime or call your grandparents. 
  7. Throw a virtual “Chopped”-inspired cooking party with your friends. Decide on a unique combination of ingredients that you all have at home and set a timer for 20-30 minutes to make something out of them!
  8. Find a new show to watch.
  9. Try out the Daily Mini Crossword Puzzle by The New York Times.
  10. Cook dinner for your family. Be the head chef and recruit your sibling to be the sous-chef. 
  11. Read something that is lying around the house. 
  12. Stretch. All that sitting down and looking at your computer can make you feel pretty stiff. Stand up and stretch it out.
  13. Organize your room.
  14. Listen to a podcast. NPR’s Hidden Brain and Code Switch are my current favorites!
  15. Have a movie night with friends through Zoom or Netflix Party. 
  16. Break out old games and play with your family. Jenga, jigsaw puzzles, Clue – whatever you have!
  17. Get back into that skincare routine you’ve been too busy to follow or change it up and find a new one.
  18. Catch up on school work so you can leave yourself plenty of time to study for your final exams. 
  19. Send thank you notes to your teachers, counselor, mentors, and anyone else who helped you throughout the college application process. You may not need a thank you note for this, but don’t forget to thank your family and friends! 
  20. Start researching scholarships. This may not be on your radar right now or the most relaxing thing to do, but it will help you in the long run. Better to start earlier than later, right? Also, submit your FAFSA and CSS Profile by Dec. 15 if possible.

While it may feel like you always need to be on the go, remember that taking some time to let yourself decompress is crucial to staying balanced and avoiding burnout. You are doing a great job at navigating this interesting school year, and we are all rooting for you! Congratulations, official college applicant! You did it. Happy relaxing! 

Secret Life of Pets

Madeleine Lee
Madeleine Lee

Madeleine Lee is a sophomore in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and plans to study at the intersection of health and social justice. Outside of the classroom, she conducts research at the Kellogg Eye Center and is a member of the Vice President for Student Life Advisory Board. She is an Ann Arbor native and in her free time, you can find her running, reading, or snapping photos.