Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have several seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2014 to June 2015!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.
As I’ve progressed through the chicanery of the college apps process, so has (as one might expect) my twin brother. His college admissions journey (to resuscitate that old phrase) has been markedly different from mine, at least thus far: he applied early decision to a particular Northeastern university (not NEU, to be clear), which will inform him of the verdict in three days’ time. Thus far, I’ve applied to four schools, whether under a non-binding early action plan or through my state flagship’s automatic admissions plan; the drama surrounding the submission of these applications felt markedly less severe. My successive regular decision applications, as of yet unsubmitted, themselves in specific will also lack the particular punch of an early decision app. There’s something about the particular sturm und drang of ED that captivates us all, whether it ultimately, for one of a host of reasons, repels us– including me, once.
Last fall– actually, since sometime last spring– I was particularly struck by the idea of applying Early Decision to one particular institution. While it was closer to home than many of the other schools on my list, I hadn’t considered it much until a semi-impromptu visit during Thanksgiving Break of my junior year. Suddenly, everything about it seemed to click– the campus life seemed promising, the academic resources appealing, the student body happy, diverse and functional. All seemed aboveboard, and I imagined that an early decision application might be my best course of action. Why not? While the jury is still out on whether submitting one’s application in early decision actually confers any sort of benefit (for many schools, especially liberal arts colleges, this can be said to be the case; this is less often true for slightly more selective universities), if it was truly my first choice, it seemed like a no-brainer, especially considering my geographic location would make me less than unique in the applicant pool. (Particularly keen readers can probably guess the school I mean by now, but, I mean, what can you do. Good for y’all!)
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why ED can be spun as a terrible idea, and some of these, as well as a general sense of indecision after a particularly precarity-inducing summer, jarred me out of the ED idyll (EDyll). While I still harbor a lot of love for this particular institution and still plan on applying, my energies are spread a little more widely across my list now.
My brother has a list of schools that he’s at least reasonably fond of as well, but, of course, he’s not particularly keen on the idea of tapping into it. His excitement about his early decision school has waxed considerably in the recent weeks, a phenomena I’m sure a good deal of you are familiar with– and one laden with possible danger as well. The possibilities of all three verdicts lingers heavily in the air, and I know that whatever happens on Thursday, it’ll feel shockingly real. This is more of that “abstract/theoretical college admissions slowly becoming real until it’s orientation and you’re like ‘how did I get here?'” theme that I’ve been totally, tritely unable to resist weaving into these entries month in and month out, but this particular time, it’s at least not solely pertaining to me. My brother’s excitement and nerves are palpable, but not nearly as much as they’ll feel in that final, visceral moment this Tuesday afternoon. But perhaps I’m just projecting.
In the past month, I myself have had some doubts about my ED choice– namely, my eschewing it. Should I have gone for it? Would I feel better with the possibility of a certain future looming, or terrified? Would I be kicking myself, both in terms of the well-known cons of ED and with regards to my own uncertainties? Or would I be more in the “excited, hopeful, ebullient, gleeful” camp? In some alternate universe, perhaps we know. In this particular timeline, though, I have about nine more supplements to finish and a wealth of equally weighted opportunities at my fingertips. It’ll have to do for now– for me, anyway.
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