The stressful ending of the college process


Adriana Rivera , Managing Editor of Op-Ed

Here is the truth about the college process– it is repulsive. Around this time a year ago, I had my first meeting with my college counselor. I remember feeling so eager, ready to dive right into my college journey. We spent our forty-five minutes discussing what type of school I wanted to attend for the next four years and came up with a list of at least ten schools we thought would be a good fit for me. Fast forward a few months, and I am now a senior at the Academy. The fun is over, and it is now time to start writing my college essays while simultaneously retaking the ACT for the fourth time. The stress is high, but I am still optimistic that the work I am putting in will be worth it. After months of working on college essays to meet deadlines, I’d finally finished all of my applications. I applied to most of my schools Early Admission, so December was my month that would tell all, or so I thought…

That optimism that I once had quickly dwindled as I started to receive letters back from my schools. The first letter I received was an acceptance, and at that point I thought I actually had a solid chance of getting into most of my schools. But then came the deferrals (my early application was moved to the regular decision pool). After that one acceptance, it was deferral after deferral after deferral until I’d received six deferrals. Some of the schools I expected a deferral from, while some were safety schools that I expected to get into without getting deferred. Then came the rejections. And after that were a few more deferrals and acceptances. I spent hours writing and perfecting my supplement essays, hours making sure my common application looked stellar, hours preparing for interviews with different representatives from different schools, hours trying everything I could do to gain admissions to these schools. But the reality is, like many other high schools seniors, I didn’t get into a single school that was in my top three.

When facing rejection from schools that you’ve worked so hard to go get into your entire life, it’s difficult. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that you may not have gotten a position at your dream school because your family didn’t bribe their rowing team, or because you aren’t a certain type of diversity they’re looking for to fill their quota. It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that you may not have been selected to attend these institutions based off of outside factors that you have no control of. And it’s easy for you to start comparing yourself to other students who may have gotten into the school of YOUR dreams. But the truth is, the college process is unfair. It is unfair and frustrating, and it can bring you down. What I have learned is that the cards will fall where they belong. I believe that although my school that I will be attending next year wasn’t necessarily in my top three initially, it is where I am meant to be. The college process will change whatever college plan you think you have right now. But that isn’t a bad thing. Embrace it.