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Waiting is the hardest part, they say, and it couldn't be truer when it comes to college admissions. After all the hard work, paperwork wrangling, and rush to get everything in on time, you and your student have to wait it out. While the suspense can be tough to deal with, there is plenty you can do to stay productive and not let admissions anxiety take over.

Here are some ways to keep busy while your student awaits the college decision.

Put the focus back on senior year

Now that applications are filed, your student can go back to being a high schooler, and it's your job to encourage that. Don't forget -- many colleges and universities will take a look at the senior year transcript, so grades are still important. Not only should your student maintain a strong GPA, but it's a good time to enjoy their extracurriculars, too.

Help your teen look into scholarships

You might have been doing this all along, but once you have a more focused idea as to where your teen might attend college, you can help them look into merit awards. Plus, you'll have more time to dedicate to scholarship applications. Look for local scholarships, ask your employer about opportunities, and research the institutions for school-based award programs.

Teach some real life lessons

You don't want to send your teen off to college clueless. This is the perfect time to school your child on how to do laundry, manage finances, and other real world topics. In other words, get a jump start on the college to-do list. Take your teen to the bank to get a checking account if they don't have one yet, start thinking about dorm shopping list items, and look into health insurance options.

Don't forget about college entirely

While you don't want to obsess over checking the mailbox or inbox, make it clear to your student that you're available to discuss their general college concerns. This downtime might be a good opportunity to help your child examine what they want out of the college experience.

Speak with other parents to share strategies (as long as it doesn't add to your pressure)Having a support network of other moms and dads who are playing the waiting game -- or who have done so in recent years -- can help ease some tension. Commiserate, trade tips, and bond over the shared experience.

Do something fun as a family

Since you've likely spent all of your free evenings and weekends doing campus tours or helping your student brainstorm college essays, you've all earned some leisure time. Enjoy it as much as you can, especially since your student will be getting ready to head off to college before you know it.

Anticipating admissions decisions can feel like torture for all involved, but by using the time wisely, keeping the mood light, and leaving that poor mail carrier alone, those letters will start rolling in on their own come April. Hopefully, all of the waiting will pay off when your student eagerly rips open those envelopes

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