The Long Wait

One of the most excruciating processes about the college admission process is the waiting period. Everyone’s process is different, and it can be a relatively relaxed time or months full of stressful thoughts.

Cat typing on laptop furiously
Have courage and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Keep yourself busy with what you love, like this cat!

I have collected a few of my friends thoughts here. I had asked them, “if they could talk to themselves from one year ago, what they would tell their younger selves about the college admission process.”

“I would say that don’t be too concerned if you don’t get in early decision, because there are always other options. I thought about the prospect of getting into other schools regular decisions and then choosing Swarthmore anyways. Don’t take the college admissions process too personally!”

“I wasn’t really stressed out. I didn’t think I was going to get into Swarthmore, and then I got into another liberal arts college in the north-west. Originally, I was nervous I wasn’t going to get into any schools. I would tell myself to apply to more and more schools, but I got into more than I thought I would. Getting into Swarthmore was a surprise for me.”

“I would tell my younger self that you’ll hear a lot of people say “Oh in the end everything will be fine, you will be happy wherever you end up”, but when you’re waiting its hard to believe/accept that that’s true. Its not until you go through the entire process that you can look back and finally understand that “Yeah, in the end you’ll be completely fine.” You’ve done everything you can so don’t sweat it! Trust your gut! That’s not to say to discount everything your parents have to say but in the end it’s your decision (and also financial aid of course, debt is never worth that much.) I almost went against my gut and looking back, I one-hundred percent believe it would have been a terrible decision if I didn’t. If you trust your gut, you will be fine wherever you end up.”

“I would say to not stress out about it. Consider options based on what may happen, but don’t obsess over it – nothing can be drastically changed now. Remember that everyone in this process is a person and know yourself above all. Remember that college decisions aren’t necessarily about whether or not you’re “smart enough” to be at any given institution but more about whether the [insert highly-selective institution here] believes you will be a good fit for their school – and they have the power to make those decisions because so many other high-achieving students apply. Remember that you are so much more than the college process, and to focus on the parts of life.”

Personally, I felt that there was a lot of pressure in the entire college application process. Compressing your identity and achievements over roughly four years can be daunting. No one’s alone in this process though, so take comfort in your friends, family, and the rest of your senior year!

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