The UCAS application process can be quite a stressful experience. The anxiety doesn’t end with the submission of the personal statement and finishing off all the other application parts, since it marks the beginning of one of the most dreadful stages of the process – the waiting time. Some students are lucky enough to hear back from their universities of choice quite soon. However, others have to wait months to hear back from their dream institutions. Top-notch universities receive thousands of applications every year, such as LSE, and because of that they tend to take a longer to assess applications and give notice of the outcome.
For me, the waiting time felt quite long since I had to wait until mid-April to hear back from LSE. Every time I saw an email notification from UCAS my heart would start racing a little faster, but a lot of the time it ended up being just a newsletter or documentation update, and the nervous wait continued. While there is no escape from the waiting process and the uncertainty it brings, it is extremely important to keep yourself focused on preparation for upcoming exams. Having gone through this myself, I’m happy to share some of my tips on how to make the best out of the waiting process and turn the anxiety into motivation and productivity.
Firstly, quite simply, the waiting period is the time to turn away your focus from the application components and focus on schoolwork to maximise your chances of scoring high on the final exams and meeting the grade requirements. As obvious as it sounds, there is nothing you can do right now to change your personal statement or your score on additional examinations such as the LNAT for a law degree, and constantly worrying about it won’t lead you any closer to securing a place at LSE. Instead now is the time to make a detailed revision plan, go through past exam papers and concentrate on getting the grades listed as requirements on the university page for your chosen degree. The work you put into achieving those scores will grant you a place at LSE if you receive an offer, but in the unfortunate case that you’re not accepted this time, the grades will allow you to start from a strong position if you choose to reapply in the future.
Another tip that helped me was setting myself academic goals independent of the university application process. If there is a particular subject you’re struggling with but want to improve and score high in the exams, or a research essay you’re undertaking that you’re very passionate about, shifting your attention to that can reduce your anxiety surrounding the wait. At the end of the day, university admission is just a part of our academic life, and setting aspirations outside of that can be rewarding, and will certainly give you less time for overthinking your application.
Lastly, the thing that really pushed me through the waiting process was consuming LSE-related content and getting excited about the prospect of studying there in the future. Although it sort of goes against the aim of shifting your focus, researching the university online from time to time, really pushed me to stay committed to my revision and do everything that was within my power at that time, to increase my chances of meeting the requirements. Watching LSE student YouTube videos, scrolling through the university’s website or reading blog posts of students, helped me to change my attitude from nervousness to positive excitement. Although I realise that in case I didn’t get in, the research that I’ve done would probably increase my disappointment, it certainly motivated and encouraged me during the waiting time and made me feel incredibly thrilled once my decision finally arrived.