Hi everyone! This time four years ago, I was busy preparing for the dreadful process of applying to colleges. I remember taking my first ACT test during the fall of my high school junior year. Later on, I applied for a summer program at Washington University. When senior year came around, I applied Early Decision and received my acceptance letter from Washington University! While this entire process sounds smooth and simple, I promise you that I was anxious, nervous, scared, and even overwhelmed the entire time. Well, at least until I knew for sure that I was going to college. 😛
Back in high school, I was definitely an over-achiever type of student. I was always over-prepared rather than underprepared, which can be both a pro and a con. This was how my college search process was, too. I spent the summer between my junior and senior year attending the June Pre-Medical Institute at Wash U. I wanted to explore the campus, take classes, and spend time with the faculty and students while eating delicious food and sleeping on a tempurpedic bed. At the same time, I was also *so* set on being a Pre-Med student in college (of course, my mind has changed now) that this camp seemed ideal for me. In just three weeks, I fell in love with the university and everything it offers, from the weather to the classrooms to the dormitories—everything seemed like a dream. Now, the next step was to make this dream a reality. And I did.
Originally, I remember making the typical college list: 3 reach schools, 3 match schools, and 3 safety schools. While this college search was going on, I also remember receiving hundreds of college mail! There are so many different options, yet only one “dream school” for me. Limiting down these colleges took a while, and I did end up with a list of 9. 9 colleges may not seem like that many at first glance, but the college application essays sure add up quickly! I remember having to write at least 15 supplementary short answers and essays in addition to the one on the Common App. When I clicked on Wash U, however, I saw that the only essay it requires is the one that I already have to write anyways—the Common App essay! You have no idea how happy I was then, all I needed was to click a button and submit the information that I already had in order to apply to a college. How crazy is that?
Now comes to the perks of being an ED student. I knew in my head that I wanted to go to Wash U right after the summer camp ended. That experience solidified my interests and definitely convinced me that I was good fit for Wash U and that Wash U has exactly what I looked for in a dream school. So, how did I decide on applying early decision, then? Well, the college applications were stressing me out because I did not want to wait a whole semester-and-half to receive an answer. In fact, I secretly hoped that I would know whether I got in or not right after submitting my application…
Having visited and experienced student life at Wash U, I had no hesitation in applying early. I knew that applying ED meant that if I got accepted, I had to attend Wash U (which is a great thing, in my head). And, if this means receiving an answer by the end of the fall semester of my senior year, I definitely would make the binding commitment. In addition, it is my chance to let Wash U know that I am passionate about the university!
The day finally came. I received notification of my acceptance to Washington University earlier than expected. The application said “end of December,” but I found out on December 9th! Out of nowhere, I receive this CONGRATULATIONS email from Wash U—I remember my entire body shaking. And of course, being a typical high school senior, I viewed that as a perfect opportunity to post about it on Facebook to brag to all of my other friends who only applied for “regular” decision.
The next few weeks became a blur in my mind. I received a welcome packet from Wash U with a green T-shirt (which I also put on immediately!). I visited campus again and took pictures with the bunny. Then, I also attended Celebration Weekend and networked with other students! Being an ED student, I also joined the Facebook group earlier and had the opportunity to message other students before the regular decision students. Plus, knowing that I have successfully conquered high school and gotten into a top-notch college before Christmas, New Year’s, and my 18th birthday also put myself in a happier, stress-free mood before the Holiday’s (and finals/AP exams!).
My advice for everyone is to apply ED! It has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Think of a magic cure that saves you time, sleep, and stress. Yes, that is exactly what ED gives you. Plus, you’ll have exclusive bragging rights throughout the rest of senior year while other people stress about submitting all of their other applications in the spring!
I wish everyone who is considering applying ED the best of luck!
~ Nancy <3