A College Admissions Anecdote: Understanding the Unexpectedness of the Process

Allison Gould, Print Editor-in-Chief

When I began the college admissions process, I could not have imagined the path it would take me down. Throughout my high school career, I had always had a “dream school,” the institution in which I envisioned myself spending some of the most pivotal years of my life. Of course, I went through phases of liking other colleges, yet my sights had always been set on one school. 

During the application process, I tried my hardest to show the most demonstrated interest in this one particular school, working on the application to make it perfect. Then, when college decisions began coming out, my Early Action application was deferred. Though hope was not all lost, I had to change my perspective. Instead of honing in on the experiences that I would have at this specific school, I opened my horizons and considered the amazing opportunities I could have and people I would meet at the other schools I applied to.

A week after the disappointing news, I got accepted to one of my top schools. From then on, while I still had the anxiety of potentially getting into my “dream school,” I approached the college process with a much more of an open mind. If there was a singular piece of advice that I would give anyone going through the college admissions process, it would be just that: to keep an open mind. And while I am sure various people have already begun telling you to keep your options open, I truly mean it. The college admissions process is completely unpredictable, and the decisions that are made are those made with your best interest in mind.

As I waited for regular decisions to come out, my anxiety peaked again. I counted down the days until Mar. 25. There was speculation that my “dream school’s” decisions were coming out on this day, along with another one of my top choice schools. At three o’clock, I opened the decision from my “dream school” and was disappointed to find out that I was waitlisted. Though the day was not over, I had zero expectations while opening the decision from the second university later that day. Five o’clock rolled around, and my shaking hands clicked the “View Status Update” link to reveal a letter with purple and white confetti surrounding my screen. 

From that moment on, I realized that the college admissions process works out exactly as it is meant to. I am so excited for the next four years of my life, even though they may not be how I had initially imagined them. The college admissions process is so daunting, but at the end of the line, even if by May 1 it does not feel like your hard work has paid off, it works out how it is meant to.