Why I Applied Early Decision To College
by Mary Grace Vallacchi
I distinctly remember where I was when I made the decision that would forever determine the rest of my existence…
In all seriousness, it was a fall afternoon and I was warming up for soccer practice with my teammates. As seniors, everyone was in the midst of applying to college, so naturally, it was a topic of conversation. I remember getting asked the question, “MG, what are your top schools?” As I had done so many times before, I told them my top two, “Connecticut College and Ursinus College.” As I elaborated on my choices and why, one of my friends said, “it sounds like you really like Connecticut.” And that’s when it finally dawned on me that Connecticut College was the school I was constantly thinking about. I constantly checked their website, I checked their school reviews, and I read advice from former students. I had subconsciously made my decision and I didn’t notice until someone actually pointed it out to me. That was when I decided to apply early decision to my future college. And here’s what I’ve learned…
Early decision is typically mentioned with a negative connotation. Fear of regret, making a choice too fast, or the haunting realization that it is, in fact, binding are all terrifying aspects. Unfortunately, there are some truths to this. There are many difficulties when applying early decision and it’s not right for everyone. It is binding, and it is scary, but if you are confident in your choice it isn’t as difficult as you may think. Of course, it’s good to keep your options open, but what if you know where you’d like to go? Why not show the school you are determined to go there? If you know where you want to go, and also apply to a few safety schools you like, there is really nothing to worry about.
If I told you how quickly I applied to college, you’d tell me it was easy. To be completely honest with you, it was. I filled out the Common Application, wrote my essay, and practically hit submit. Granted, I was stressed. Just because I applied early decision does not mean it was stress-free, of course, there was stress, there is stress in everything. But the important thing is that I didn’t overthink my decision. I’m not saying don’t think at all, I’m just saying don’t overthink it because it will only cause more stress. Getting in early decision actually helps reduce the stress in the long run, you’ll know where you’re going months in advance! So, here’s what you need to ask yourself…
- Can I really see myself living here?
- Are the kids similar to me?
- Am I going to be able to do the things I enjoy while I’m here?
This all truly matters if you want to be happy, even if they have the perfect chemistry program you’ve been dying to partake in since your freshman year of high school, you have to consider this. While academics are a huge part of the college experience, making sure you are content is important too. If you aren’t happy you won’t succeed in your studies and the program you so desperately sought after, won’t matter.
The moral of my experience is that you shouldn’t be afraid of something just because you can’t back out. Typically, you know better than anyone else what is best for you. Trust yourself to make a good decision and you’ll be happier for the rest of your senior year instead of stressing out. It feels like you are taking a huge risk, believe me, I know, but it also helped me stop worrying about college and focus on enjoying my senior year. I know where I am going and I couldn’t be more excited. Applying Early Decision is scary, but it isn’t as big a deal as people make it out to be. I’m still alive, aren’t I?