Ahhh, yes. Just last year I was one of you. I knew I was going to apply early decision to my dream school basically my whole life. I was a legacy. I basically grew up on campus. And if you’re one of those applying ED, if you’re one of those willing to rescind all of your other applications pending that one acceptance, you’ve probably known for a while too. Most people believe it’s taking the easy way out. They believe the process is making the decision for you. But what nobody tells you is that once the time comes to hit the submit button, the following moments are the most brutal of your life.

Here’s a couple things you should know if you’re an early decision applicant:

The decision will not magically come sooner.

Stop checking the portals weeks in advance. The amount of times you log in before that coveted decision date will have no effect on what your letter says. If you have the urge to log in: breathe, and focus your mind on something else.

Don’t second guess yourself.

This place is your top choice for a reason. Yes, other schools have their own unique qualities, and it may cause you to rethink your choice, but remember the things you love about your ED school. It has its perks too. You’re going to be ecstatic if you get in, and you’re going to love attending.

Don’t drive yourself crazy.

Waiting for an ED decision is probably one of the most nerve wracking feelings in the world. I used to cry myself to sleep at night thinking about how much I wanted to get in. Don’t be me. It won’t help you. If you’re ever thinking about it, think of something else. Pondering the what-ifs is just going to make you even more uneasy.

Have safety schools.

If you’re applying somewhere ED, it’s probably because it’s a reach or you really, really don’t see yourself anywhere else. Either way, rejection happens and it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case. No matter how sure you are, you can’t be too sure. So fill out some safety apps.

Being rejected is not the end of the world.

There are plenty of people out there who have been rejected early decision from their dream schools and have ended up exactly where they are meant to be, elsewhere. Of course the possibility of being rejected is painful, and you have every reason to be upset if it occurs. But the only thing to do is to pick yourself back up and consider your other fantastic options.

Believe me, I know some of these suggestions are easier said than done. But I had always wished that someone was there to remind me that applying ED doesn't have to be stressful. If you are lucky enough to be accepted, congratulations! Your college process is over, and you can enjoy the rest of senior year without a care in the world. If a rejection letter unfortunately makes its way to you, take it as a symbol that a better fit is out there for you, and you just have to find it. The wait is almost over, seniors. Good luck to all!