It is that time of the year, folks. Yes, most, if not all, high school seniors who applied Early Action or Early Decision to U.S. schools have heard from their universities already. The result: heartfelt screams and cheers, disappointing moans and cries, or somewhere in between.
Early Decision, especially, results in a unique pool of students, purely because those who apply Early Decision to a university or college are signing a binding agreement; if they receive an acceptance from this university or college, they must attend that same school. Generally, this contract applies to all cases except for a few gnarly ones relating to financial aid.
And because this agreement is binding, most students in this pool have selected this given university or college as their top-choice or first-choice school. So when they do not receive their desired response, whether they are deferred, waitlisted, or rejected, they feel even more devastated, just because this university or college was their number-one choice. To them, their ‘ideal’ college experience is now dangling too far out of reach. Now, every other school besides their top-choice is now disgustingly horrible and inferior (note my use of hyperbole).
The problem with this situation now is that a bunch of high school seniors, who are already stressed enough for a number of reasons, are now not looking forward to college at all. I mean, since their top-choice is now unattainable, any college that they eventually receive acceptances from will result in a less-than-ideal college experience. So these poor souls are now doomed forever, right?
If I haven’t made the situation sound ridiculous enough as it is, here’s a summation to make it clear: no one deserves to be upset about getting into university.
A student’s university experience is defined, not by the university itself, but by the student’s own choices and decisions he or she makes at that university. To make a comparison, I could give this example:
Let’s say, for example, that a woman is at home one day, cooking and listening to the radio, when she gets a call from her husband, who says that he has a present for her. That day, the woman’s husband comes home with a new dog, a corgi, maybe.
If this example doesn’t make sense, I am warning you now that I just made this up in about 45 seconds.
In this example, what do you think the woman would remember? Would she remember that she was at home when she received the surprise? Maybe. But what would she most likely remember, above everything else? She would probably remember, above all, that she just received a dog from an amazing husband. In this analogy, the dog or present acts as a metaphor for the college experience, and the house acts as the university.
Sure, maybe the house’s proximity to an animal shelter contributed to the husband’s choice to adopt a dog, instead of buying a tea kettle, for his wife. But in the end, even if the animal shelter was 60 miles away, if the husband wanted his wife to have a dog, he would not give up, driving 120 miles in total for that cute little corgi.
Sure, the university you attend may make ‘ideal’ college experiences easier, but no college experience is confined to one university. Rather, so long as you are willing to commit yourself to making your 4 years at college the best they can be, you are guaranteed to have a great college experience, even an ‘ideal’ one. Ideals, too, change over time, so having a great college experience that you will remember forever will be more impactful than having an experience that settles the definition of an ideal one day but not that of another.
As the title says, no one deserves to be upset about getting into university. Receiving an acceptance from any university is amazing and incredible, an event to celebrate. Do not let anyone, and especially yourself, take the joy and happiness out of this special day.
For more information: a few months ago, I read a blog post by Catherine Goetze, a junior at Stanford University, who has an online blog and YouTube channel. I would definitely encourage you to check it out, simply because she also has great wisdom to share about this whole college fiasco.