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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 2015 to June 2016!). 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.

This last month has been absolutely ridiculous. My general classes had their wrap up unit tests the first week of December, then I had finals for my AP classes the following two weeks. December has been a huge storm of work, worry, and emotions. I spent most of the first week frantically running around the school during all hours of the day printing review worksheets for finals, talking to my counselor about my final college list, noting down winter break assignments, and wrapping up my club’s first semester of existence. Once finals week began, I tried so hard to focus on my exams, but decisions had just started coming out, so I was stressing about college instead.

Most of my month has been dedicated to constantly stressing out about decisions for my ED school. As acceptances started rolling in for my classmates, I was at once ecstatic for their success and jealous of their lack of work for winter break. Most of my close friends got accepted into their first choice colleges, and I could not be happier for them. However, as I was helping them pick out dorm room color schemes and weekend trips into the city, I was wondering: would this be me in just a few days? Or would I join the deferred-rejected-crying club?

My decision came out the morning of the 17th (4 p.m. EST, so 5 a.m. China time). I had planned on pulling an all-nighter to wait for it, since the 16th was my last day of school for the semester. However, I severely underestimated my staying-awake abilities. I got home, ate dinner almost right away, went upstairs, and promptly passed out before I even opened my laptop. For the first time in almost a month, I slept without the stress of any major assignments or essays or tests or projects looming over my head. I don’t know if it was the stress, some sort of internal alarm, or just a coincidence, after almost 10 hours of sleep I woke up exactly at 4:45 a.m., ready for the notification to pop up. I rolled out of bed, opened up my computer, and logged on to the portal.

The emotional crap-storm that was in my head at that point was raising my anxiety ten-fold. Am I going to get in? I really hope I get accepted, but I am almost 100% not going to be accepted don’t get your hopes up, Katherine. You are not going to get accepted. Helloooooo, rejection. Please accept me, dream school.

Turns out, I didn’t get accepted, nor did I get rejected. I got deferred. I was so happy I almost cried (Who am I kidding, I did shed a few tears). It was disappointment, relief, heartbreak, and hope all wrapped up into one computer screen image. I still had a chance!

However, to be completely honest, as much as I am absolutely in love with my ED school, the more I looked at it, the more I felt like I was just trying to convince myself to fall in love with it more. The academic programs and structure were absolutely amazing, and a great fit for me, but I had always had doubts about the social scene. Once it got to the week before decisions were released, I was having serious doubts about committing. When I applied, I loved the school, but wasn’t 100% sure. It was the combined pressure of my parents, grandparents, counselor, and classmates that convinced me to take the leap. Even now, I’m still sorting out my emotions about this decision and about this school.

So, in retrospect, maybe I did win in getting a deferral. I still have a chance at acceptance (a really low one, though), and have more time to consider other options and apply to other schools. This means that I’m going to have a full workload for my two weeks of winter break, though. I still have quite a few supplements to finish up, and need to get started on writing a couple as well.

It wasn’t until almost two weeks after I sent in my ED application that I started realizing that I still had doubts. I had let myself get so wrapped up in what my family wanted and what my counselor wanted that I forgot to really consider what I wanted. So, a bit of advice: please, please, please do not apply early just because you are pressured to do so! I got away with it a bit easy, but applying, getting accepted, and realizing that the school is not the right place for you can be exhausting.

Also, for those who just got ED/EA acceptances: please, please don’t stress. Don’t put too much weight into your acceptances/rejections/deferrals. This is only the first round: you have so much more to look forward to in the future! Getting rejected from your dream school hurts, but everything will be okay in the end. You will end up at a good school, the right school. Just trust your future, trust your abilities, and trust yourself! Like a classmate of mine once said: Change the decision, don’t let the decision change you.

As I look forward to two weeks of sleeping early and waking up late, actually getting time to read (I’m planning on ripping into Gregor Berns’s Iconoclast for pleasure, and starting Dante’s Inferno for my AP Lit class.), I am also faced with a big college apps workload. So, the start of winter break doesn’t really mean anything to me at this point, since I’ll still have to be working.

Senior year is now halfway over, dearies. As much as it seems like the work will never end, it will! The swimmer in me still thinks in terms of events, and if high school was the 200 IM, we are now at the end of the backstroke, going into the breaststroke laps. Chill out during winter break, spend your last holidays with your family, not working, please. Don’t wear yourself out, and get ready to finish hard.

Class of 2016ers, happy holidays, and see you in the new year!

Want to get in touch with Katherine? Email her at, or fill out our Contact Form, and she’ll write you back ASAP!

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