There’s one month that falls between Early Decision/Action and Regular Decision — February. For someone (that someone being me) who applied to all their schools the first week in September, waiting until March to hear back from the other 17 of 20 schools (call me paranoid, but I like options) I applied to causes me to get a bit impatient. There was some level of relief that I felt knowing that everything was done and that I could focus on the crazy first semester and getting acclimated to my classes. With being early though, comes a long wait time. And by that I mean usually two to three more months of waiting for that decision everyone yearns for. However, it was relief nonetheless.
Next came the wave of relaxation which resided in the fact that when I was done with all my applications, some people were just getting started. However, with all that free time comes a lot of thinking and mostly second guessing. That confidence soon shifts and morphs into constantly wondering if maybe you should have spent more time rereading your essays instead of submitting them so quickly. These feelings start to sit in the pit of your stomach and then eat away at you, keeping you up at night, causing you to stress more than you already are, and consuming every inch of your thoughts.
This anxiety is then played off, acting like you don’t care what your decision is, pretending that you prepared yourself for a rejection when in reality you know that nothing can prepare you for something you have wanted your whole life, only to come up short. Then comes the time around December and January where all the decisions begin filtering in and application status portals are always open on your other tabs. You refresh the page in hopes of seeing a status update in the two minutes since you last checked. Every time an email notification comes through you hope and pray that it is either an acceptance letter or an email saying “Your decision is available.”
As Early Decision and Early Action come out, your friends begin to hear from their schools and maybe even decide where they are going; that’s when you feel a little bit of envy towards them. Not to say that you aren’t absolutely thrilled for them, but it only makes you more anxious and impatient awaiting your decisions.
Although I have 17 left, I know this cycle is nearing its end for me and that means coming to the last step; acceptance. No, not acceptance into college, although that is the goal, but accepting the fact that you will get rejections, acceptances, and maybe even deferrals. It’s really hard to believe during this cycle that everything will work out how it’s supposed to in the end, but it will. That’s not to say that every person will get into the college they dreamed of getting into, but I mean that there is not only one college for everyone, there are multiple whether or not you would like to believe that.
Everything happens for a reason and we all want to know what that reason is in the moment, but just give it time and it will all fall into place. There’s an extreme level of uncertainty of where I will be next year. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I stressed? Absolutely. But I just trust that it’s all part of the cycle.
Maya Fazio is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.