Early Decision Results Roll In

The+Senior+Commons%27+college+commitment+board+begins+to+grow+as+students+hear+back+from+their+top-choice+colleges.
The Senior Commons' college commitment board begins to grow as students hear back from their top-choice colleges.

The Senior Commons' college commitment board begins to grow as students hear back from their top-choice colleges.

Sophia McCrimmon

Sophia McCrimmon

The Senior Commons' college commitment board begins to grow as students hear back from their top-choice colleges.

Amanda Mier, Features Editor

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5:02 a.m. – Sleep. Don’t think about it. Reacting while exhausted will make everything worse.

 

5:04 a.m. – But what if I get in? No, don’t think that, don’t jinx it.

 

5:05 a.m. – Why am I still awake?

 

5:09 a.m. – Don’t think about the Early Decision letter. Oops. I’m thinking about it.

 

6:10 a.m. – I saw Dr. Loving’s admission book.  I know I’m not getting in.

 

Every interminable minute of every day this week, some Maggie Walker senior is going through this all-too familiar emotional rollercoaster.  Some lucky students are already in their dream colleges, while others are still waiting to submit regular decision applications, due on January 1st.  How has the application process gone for the average student? Not that bad, is the general consensus.

 

8:42 a.m. – Maybe I will get in? STOP! Be realistic!

 

For Jackie O’Neil (’17), the process has been smooth sailing: “I got into my top choice college, so I certainly can’t complain,” she explained.  Still, “the entire process took way more work, and money, than I expected, but the ends definitely justify the means, so I have very few qualms with the college application process.”

 

10:55 a.m. – But maybe I will get in.

 

Like O’Neil, John Blue (’17) isn’t stressed, either. “The process hasn’t been terribly stressful so far, but I still haven’t done most of my January 1st apps, so that might change in the next couple weeks,” said Blue.  Blue is not alone in not having yet completed his applications.  Dharaa Rathi (’17) emphatically advises future applicants to “Do your first essays early! They are infinitely harder to write during the school year.  Don’t underestimate the amount of work you will have senior year outside of college essays and just plan for that!”

 

1:43 p.m.– Why did I ever think it was a good idea to apply?

 

A big decision for seniors is which and how many schools to apply to.  “I was going to apply to six colleges, but because I was accepted to my early decision college, I only submitted one application. I wanted to apply to two safeties, two 50/50 chance schools, and two stretch schools,” explained Lucina Hawkins (’17). Hannah Tuten (`17) elaborated further, “I promised myself I wouldn’t apply to any school I didn’t love or couldn’t be happy at. I visited all the schools I could realistically travel to, and that shortened my list of close to ten schools down to four. I can’t recommend visits enough, because the campus atmosphere is so important!”

 

3:12 p.m.– Did I say the right things?

 

The senior class has lots of advice for the class of 2018: Jackie’s biggest piece of advice is to “let your real personality shine in essays and don’t take yourself too seriously. I told Stanford about my love for One Direction—very unintellectual tidbits, but it fleshed me out as a person and, apparently, they liked it.” Another helpful piece of advice: “if you’re a legacy, or your parent graduated from where you’re applying, some schools will meet with you one on one and give you advice for your senior year schedule, and then once you apply, they’ll keep track of your application and make sure it gets read by the admissions director himself,” said Hannah Tuten.

 

4:22 p.m.– Only 38 more minutes. Where did I go wrong?

 

Working with the school counselors can also be helpful, as they know the academic records of all the schools and can answer many application questions.  Still, other students were concerned that neither senior counselor knew them well.  An anonymous student explained, “I only met with my counselor twice, and I was nervous about my letter of recommendation because I felt that we didn’t exactly know each other well. By the time senior year started, I had finished all my college essays and meeting with her wasn’t really necessary. I picked my own colleges, and her recommendations didn’t really fit me.”

 

4:58 p.m. – Oh gosh. I have no chance.

 

Not everyone has been accepted to his or her early decision school.  Dharaa Rathi confesses, “I got rejected from my top reach school, unfortunately.  Still, I got into two safeties with sizable amounts of scholarship money, so honestly I feel pretty good.”

 

5:02 p.m. I’m…deferred? What the heck does that mean? And how many hours are there between now and March?

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