You’ve survived college audition season! Congrats on bravely taking on an audition process that is challenging, exciting, frustrating, and terrifying. Hopefully, you also found moments of joy throughout the process and took the time to celebrate your little victories. But this next phase—waiting—can sometimes feel agonizing.
As you wait for all of your BFA musical theater and acting college decisions to trickle in, here are some tips to survive this stage of the college process.
1. Catch up on everything you have been missing out on.
You spent months preparing for college auditions and traveling around the country to audition at the college programs of your dreams. Since college auditions sometimes require you to sacrifice many of those special senior year moments, now is the time to really enjoy the last few months of your high school experience. Spend time with friends and family, allow yourself to take time to “Netflix and chill,” and say yes to all of the extracurricular opportunities you’ve had to say no to for so many months. You no longer need to use the excuse, “I can’t, I have college auditions.”
2. Trust in the process.
The college audition process has a strange way of leading you down the path that will ultimately make you the happiest. I know it’s hard to believe, particularly if you get a string of no’s in a row; it can be easy to doubt your talent and every decision you have made. But it’s crucial that you avoid beating yourself up. Otherwise, you give the college programs too much power over your life, dreams, and goals
Instead, try this exercise: List three things you’ve learned about yourself since starting the college audition process. List three new things you’ve learned about the type of program you’re looking for (opportunities , campus, faculty, training, etc.). Most likely, you have learned an enormous amount about yourself, how you handle the audition process, and have become more specific about what you’re ultimately looking for in a college. Maybe what you thought you wanted six months ago has changed. Remember that your unique path is always the right path for you.
3. Stop obsessively checking forums, message boards, and social media.
This one is going to be challenging and I hesitate to even bring it up because you will automatically be tempted to check. Don’t do it! Forums and groups are often populated by random users who don’t always know what they’re talking about. Whether you’re a parent or student anxiously awaiting acceptance or rejection notices and checking to see if decisions have been released, spending too much time on these sites can make you go insane and lead to major self-doubt.
Many programs don’t release all their decisions at the same time. Some programs email students, some call individually. Decisions that come via snail mail will arrive at unpredictable times depending on where you live I know this will be difficult, but try to avoid checking Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. to see if anyone has posted a “Class of 2022!” status update. You will quite literally drive yourself crazy if you spend all of your post-audition time this way. Also, an academic acceptance does not necessarily mean an artistic acceptance, so be wary of friends who post prematurely about their admissions decisions.
4. Keep your grades up.
Maybe you missed a week of school for Chicago Unifieds or haven’t been in class for a full week since audition season kicked into high gear. Remember that you still have to maintain a certain academic standard during the spring semester, both for high school graduation and the dream college program you hopefully receive an acceptance letter from. For those taking AP or college credit classes, this is a great time to refocus all of that extra time, energy, and disciplined attention on excelling on your year-end tests—they can help you enormously in acquiring credits toward general education classes in college.
5. Apply for additional scholarship opportunities.
You may be accepted into your dream college, but can you afford your dream college? When you sort through all your acceptances and try to make your final college decision, the overall price tag of tuition, room and board, hidden costs, etc. will play a major factor. Take this time to research any remaining scholarships on the local, state, and national level and make sure to get applications in before the deadlines. Every little bit counts!
After so many months of dedicating your life to the college audition process, it’s natural to want this process to be over already. One piece of final advice: wait until you hear from all of your audition programs before you make the final decision. Resist the urge to commit until you have all of the facts in front of you.
*This post was originally published on March 28, 2018. It has since been updated.
Tom Morin is a professional actor and NYC-based acting coach and co-founder of Polish Your Passion, an online-based training company for actors, singers, and dancers across the country via Skype/FaceTime and in-person during NYC-based studio lessons. We have a 100 percent college acceptance success rate, with students being accepted to an average of 3-4 audition-based programs. He holds a BA in theatre and political science from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.F.A. in Acting from Ohio University. He has been teaching for the past 10 years, advising and coaching students through the college audition preparation process, and beyond. His students have been accepted to top BA and B.F.A. programs across the country and have appeared Off-Broadway, regionally, and in feature films and national commercials. He has appeared Off-Broadway at the Pearl Theatre Company and New York Classical Theatre, and regionally at Walnut Street Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Centenary Stage Company, Monomoy Theatre, and Great River Shakespeare Festival.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.
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