Orange You Glad It’s Over?

Celebrating the small milestones as they come along


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Emma Li, Co Editor-in-Chief

As the Google Form results began pouring in for the college map story, it’s strange to think how the long and painful process is finally over and college is, in fact, not a distant concept of the future but a solid three months away. 

I think the biggest hurdle in this whole process is to understand that everyone else has gone through the same thing. Everyone hears that the process works out in the end, and for a lot of people, it does. But a school is what you make of it, and there is really nothing else you can do but put your best foot forward. 

One subject I have not spoken about here are waitlists. For those who don’t know, schools will put students on a waitlist, which is neither rejected nor accepted. If the student chooses to stay on that waitlist, schools wait until after the May 1 decision deadline to count the number of students who actually accepted, and if they need anyone else, they begin to use the waitlist. This is entirely dependent on the number of students who accept their offers, so a waitlist is definitely not a guarantee. Students still holding out will commit and submit a deposit to another school they have been accepted to and pretend the waitlists don’t exist. Even so, few students get offers, and even fewer actually accept after that offer is extended, whether it’s because of being waitlisted in the first place, getting attached to the school they committed to, or any other number of reasons. So, it’s not over for everyone, though it is a small chance. 

If you have spent any amount of time with me, you will know that I have a little brother in elementary school. The world of college applications has changed tremendously in the last few years, and there is no doubt that it will turn into a different kind of monster by the time he gets to this point. The Common App’s ease of use has made applying to many schools easier than ever, increasing the applications and increasing the competition, while many schools remaining test optional have done the same. 

A lot of this process is about how life isn’t fair. Schools will typically accept more students from their own state, putting the Midwest in general at a disadvantage with the higher volume of upper crust schools on either coast. Legacy, either from family members or a school’s reputation, creates further divides. Money is the biggest limiting factor in what schools a student can apply to, much less attend. 

Once a teacher said that teenagers experience higher highs and lower lows in the general course of things that happen in a busy life. This is just another example of that. 

If you have younger siblings or are a younger reader yourself, I hope this column has been of at least some use to you or ones you are somewhat responsible for. This has been a strange record indeed of the convoluted plots that we accept as part and parcel of our global situation. However, a school is a school. We’ve been to school for 13 years, and some of us are heading in for another 13. 

To those just beginning, best of luck. To those who’ve made it, congratulations.