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Waiting for Regular Decision Results? Here's a 5-Step Plan

March is my craziest month. Not only does our family celebrate my youngest child, middle child, and husband's birthdays, but this is when most colleges release their admissions decisions.

As March begins, I often wonder how I am going to get through the month with emotions running high with my students, birthday parties to arrange, and making sure everyone feels supported. It is easy to let the waiting and stress affect us.

For students and parents awaiting admissions decisions, here are some ways to not only cope, but thrive in the month of March:

1. Map out the decisions.

Most colleges will notify students days or weeks in advance about when they are releasing decisions—sometimes down to the exact day and time. Put it on the calendar so that everyone knows when the decision is expected and how to plan for it.

RELATED READING: How to Get Better Admissions and Financial Aid Outcomes This Time of Year

2. Stay busy.

Fill your days and nights with school work, friends, and family. Idle time is never your friend when you've got a lot on your mind.

3. Get moving.

Exercise is the best form of stress relief. I am currently obsessed with these short, impactful yoga/pilates "flows" from Melissa Wood Health. If I do at least one a day (even the 10-minute meditation), I am a completely different person!

4. Celebrate every single acceptance, no matter where the college falls on your list.

Go out to dinner as a family on a whim, make a special cake for dessert one evening, or make a card for the student who gets admitted. This is a huge accomplishment. A student just needs one college for the opportunity of a lifetime.

RELATED READING: How Colleges Get Admitted Students to Enroll

5. Lean on your parents.

Yes, that's right. Friends are going through a similar experience. Sometimes there's natural competition and even jealousy with them. The only people who will support the student no matter what, are Mom and Dad.

RELATED READING: College Admission with a Catch

March certainly comes in like a lion and out like a lamb for all of us in the admissions waiting game. There is fear and uncertainty right now, but there is also a new chapter awaiting us just around the corner. I am no expert on handling stress. But we all know what works for each of us. I will be celebrating my daughter, son, and husband's birthdays this month. I will also be celebrating every single one of your acceptances along the way.