College decisions are an extremely important part of a high school senior’s life. The results of these decisions can make or break any student’s plans for the future. My experiences with these decisions have been much like a rollercoaster. There have been highs and lows in this process, but sometime it seems that the highs outweigh the lows. Throughout my high school career I was convinced that I could get into some of the top universities in the country, whether it was Harvard, Stanford, or MIT. The older I grew, however, the farther and farther that dream became from reality. As soon as I realized this I began to panic a bit. This had been my dream for so long, and now it was about to disappear. That is when I started college hunting. The college hunting process is one of the most frustrating, and sometimes pointless, parts of senior year.
I looked at so many identical places that I began to lose track of the differences between the two. I couldn’t remember the differences between the highly ranked school in Vermont and the highly ranked school in Massachusetts. This became so frustrating that I truly didn’t know what I was doing anymore. That was when I found the college of my dreams. On a college trip during the summer between my junior and senior years I visited a school called Emory University.
Everything about this school was perfect. It had nice weather, great academics, ranking, and the people there were so nice. Unfortunately for me my grades were barely too low for me to get accepted there. After talking with the cross country coach about how it would be possible for me to gain admittance something was brought to my attention that I had previously been unaware of, early decision. Early decision is a very simple concept.
It makes it easier for you to gain admittance. If you apply and get accepted by the school you have to go there no matter what. That can be a very dangerous thing if you don’t know what you want. Fortunately for me I knew that Emory was the place for me. I was told that if I applied ED then I would get in.
Because of this I pulled the trigger. I finished my application, sent it in and waited. The wait for the letter that would decide my future was excruciatingly painful. Unfortunately for me, that was not the worst part of waiting for this decision. When the day finally arrived that I could check if I got admitted I was thrilled. My family all gathered in my room as I logged onto the website to check my admission status.
What I found nearly drove me to tears. I had not been admitted to Emory, the college of my dreams. Early decision had not worked for me; I was the odd man out. This drove me down a cliff of despair and desperation. For the next few months I scrambled, trying to find back up plans. Then I learned about another thing, early decision two.
This was for the people that had not gotten into their top choice school. I could apply to another school ED; I still had a chance to get into a high ranking college. I used this to apply to two other colleges ED. The first one was harder to get into then Emory, but I applied anyway, thinking the coach could help me get in. I received another denial.
The next one was to a school not as highly ranked, but still hard to get into. I was denied again. This was the all-time low for me. I had been denied every place I applied to early. This was the part of the college process that was going to be the most dreaded, now I was going to have to wait.
I had applied to colleges all over the spectrum, big ones, small ones, preppy, isolated, and in big cities. The hardest part of it all though was just the waiting. No matter how many essays I had to write they did not compare to the stress I felt just waiting for my decisions. Something that frustrated me the most, however, was that I had to wait four months for their decisions, but I was only given one month. After waiting for ages for the decisions of these colleges, I started getting my acceptance letters.
In the end I had to choose between six different colleges. I was only given a month to make such a difficult, and life changing decision. In order to make these decisions I got the chance to go on college visits. When I went on these overnight visits, I had the time of my life. I met new people, experienced new things, and fell in love with places.
Some of the bonds I made during those one or two day stays will never fade, and that is what helped me make my momentous decision. The college decision process is full of ups and down, but I believe that the many downs, are completely justified by the friendships we make, and the education we are bound to receive.