Now, what do you do? First step—understand your school’s position—will they support you? You need them, so find a way to get their support. You may need a therapist to help you unravel why you did what you did for which you were given this punishment. Hopefully your parents are understanding and supportive.
Once you have made some headway in figuring out your problem, you need to take some time away from the stresses of applying to colleges—take a Gap year. During this year, find a volunteer position which shows you have learned from the experience. This is a crucial step, because you have broken the trust with your school. That is what caused them to put you on probation or suspend you in the first place.
Therefore you need to do something to let your high school know you have changed, and prove to a college that you have learned some valuable lessons.
So, the kind of volunteer work you choose should be in a position which has as it’s most important element trust—giving back to society. Work with the ACLU, Juvenile Justice Programs, where the work you do is based on trust. That way you get an opportunity to really show how deeply and completely you have learned.