What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?
Being waitlisted or deferred does not mean that you will not eventually be admitted to the college/university which has delayed your admission. I have worked with students who were, in fact, admitted to universities off of waitlists. I would say, however, that you should consider your chances of being admitted as being somewhat diminished. Your potential admission will hinge on your place on the waitlist, as well as on the number of admitted students who DON'T accept the institution's initial offers of admission. Those non-acceptances will determine how many students the institution will be able to admit off of the waitlist.
I would suggest that you turn your attention and enthusiasm to the other institutions to which you applied, remembering that there WAS a reason that you applied to them in the first place. All of your applications should have been to schools that you would be happy to attend.
When you receive acceptances, rejoice in them, but when you receive denials, don't internalize it. Applying to universities is, in many cases, an extremely competitive proposition, and being denied is not a reflection on you as a person but more of an indicator of the number of equally qualified applicants to a given institution. It's hard not to be disappointed at admission denials, but if you consciously focus on your acceptances, you should be able to master the situation.
What about a worst-case scenario in which you are not accepted at any of the institutions to which you have applied? That would be an extremely upsetting situation, but don't let it throw you off track for long. You might want to consider one of the following options:
- Apply to other schools which have rolling (ongoing) admissions. Some of these schools are still able to accept students into the summer months.
- Make plans for a gap-year. Do volunteer work somewhere in the world, gain work experience while earning money to pay for college, go to another country to learn a foreign language, etc., etc. etc. There are many things you could do which would broaden your experience and which would be extremely rewarding for you.
I wish you luck with your applications - or with other plans which you ultimately make!