Warrior Words: Making a 'regular' decision

When the temperature rises above 50 degrees, hem lines shorten, the sun makes rare appearances, and we finally remember what the ground looks like, we know for sure that spring has arrived. With each spring comes a variety of themes: rebirth, renewal, warmth, eagerness for summer, and the generic list goes on. However, what most people probably fail to realize is that this time of year for a college-bound high school senior brings a wave of confusing and paradoxical emotions. Though it doesn’t seem so “regular” anymore considering the mass of students who apply either early action or early decision to colleges, most schools send out their regular decision letters right around this time.

Until the fateful day arrives when students have received all their decisions, minds are clouded with a haze of hypotheticals: “If I get into schools A, B, and C, I’ll attend B, but if I’m not accepted at B I’ll go to A …”

Of course, no one can escape the relentless interrogation from teachers, parents, and peers alike. As if the stress of not knowing what the future holds isn’t enough, RD-ers must endure the hassle of constantly explaining the lack of certainty to the horde of inquiring minds. The approach of warm weather and sunny days serves as a constant reminder of the events of the near future. Now more than ever, the vision of striding down the turf field in either blue or white robes and receiving that one-way ticket out of Wilton High School occupies everyone’s thoughts. The combination of excitement and nervousness makes the weeks leading up to decisions among the most tense of a high schooler’s career.

Not everything about this portion of the college process is bad, however. For the first time since completed applications landed in the hands of the admissions counselors, the students hold the reins.  The application process seems to take a complete 180 as each institution does its best to appeal to the pool of admittees. The students begin to partake in “college shopping” per se, a process through which they can “try on” different schools by attending accepted students days or speaking with current students and alumni. Despite the fact that making a final decision can induce additional pressure, it is important to bear in mind that once the deposit payment is in, horse blinders appear on the face, talk of other colleges becomes background noise, and the focus shifts completely to that one lucky institution. All the memories of standardized testing and petty high school drama immediately disintegrate and only hopefulness and anticipation remain.

Nicole Berg is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.