The Uncommon App: So We Keep On Waiting

Essays are written, recommendations are turned in, tests scores are sent, and grades are mailed. The application process has come to a grand finale with the end of January, turning students into fireworks of joy and ticking bombs of time. But now we must wait.

Perhaps the worst part about applying to college is all of the waiting. Waiting to make sure that your information has been sent, waiting in line in the college office, waiting to see about scholarship opportunities, waiting to here if you got accepted or not. That’s all seniors seem to be doing. Waiting. And the worst part about waiting?

Here’s a daily conversation:

“Hey, [insert senior’s name here]! You’re almost done with high school!”

“Yes, sir/ma’am!”

“Where are you going to school?”

This is where things get tricky because as a second semester senior, people expect you to have all that jazz figured out. What they don’t expect is for you to not even have heard back from some schools you applied to.

Shall we continue the conversation?

“Well, you see, I’m still waiting to hear back from all the schools I applied to, so I’m not sure yet.”

(There’s that pesky waiting again)

“You’re still waiting! That’s absurd!” (Isn’t it absurd?!)

“Yes, sir/ma’am.”

“When will you hear back from all of them?”

“Um, not until the middle of April.”

“Oh my. April! Oh my”

And aren’t those “oh my”’s more than appropriate? Seniors spend the first half of their senior year gathering materials and applying to schools, and then they have to wait months on end to get a decision back.

“We do all of this work, and we anticipate an answer right away. And it’s hard to understand that it’s not just us who’s waiting for an answer” Taylor Mathis said.

Hunter Quintal added “All of my friends that live in other states get to do this thing called senior slide, which if you make good grades for the first seven semesters of high school then you basically get to let your grades drop a little bit and no one cares, but we never really get to enjoy our senior year because we are worried about getting into a school.”

However, some schools have adopted rolling admissions, which means you hear back a few weeks after you apply, regardless of other students and deadlines. Rolling admissions is how all admissions should be.

Unless that admission decision is a denial, which, personally, I think is a pretty harsh term. Denial. Nope. You simply were not good enough. Why can’t you be “Too Awesome for Our School?” Why can’t they sugarcoat your lack-of-acceptance by a simple “We are not good enough for you, so you’re welcome.”

And why aren’t colleges applying for us anyway? Have you seen what we go through for this process? School, sports, work, extracurriculars, and then to pile on all of this college stuff is absurd. Each individual student is a unique specimen that any school would be lucky and should be proud to have. And what I if I get a “You are too awesome for us” from a school I loved? Why can I not reply back “That is not true. I’m denying your denial. See you in the fall.” WHY IS THERE EVEN AN APPLICATION PROCESS?

“Schools should be applying for us because we are the ones who are paying for the school, we are the ones who want to go to the school, we’re using our energy to move to live their for four years. It should be our decision on what we want to do. The school shouldn’t decide. Follow your dreams, but if a school doesn’t accept you then you can’t follow your dreams,” Johnny Cohen said.

Of course, there is always applying early action, meaning an earlier deadline but an earlier decision. Unless that decision is a deferral.

Ahh deferrals. A way for colleges to say that “Yes, we liked you, but not enough to admit you just yet.” Take it from me. Deferrals pack a punch. Granted, it is better than a denial. But deferrals hold their own sting. That sting comes from the bee of doubt. What if I had taken the SAT one more time? What if I had just gotten a better grade in that class? What if I had sold my soul and right arm to bring up my GPA by .34? Would that have gotten me in right away?

“Well it wasn’t my first choice, so I was kind of indifferent. It was a little bit discouraging at first, but I rebounded,” Devyn Gaton said of his recent deferral experience.

But, and there is always a but, there are some students who don’t have to wait. They have one school that they fell absolutely in love with, and as soon as they get a decision – in most cases an acceptance – they’re done. Completely and totally, 100 percent done with college decisions. All they have left to do is mail in their acceptance of the acceptance and be on their way in the fall. Those lucky kids.

“It feels very weird but exciting. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to be going off to college. It’s a huge relief, a weight off my shoulders. Hail Southern!” said Mallory Maxwell, who has committed to Georgia Southern.

Emmy Thornsberry, who committed to Georgia College and State University, added, “It’s a relief to know that I have somewhere to go next year and that my top choice that has everything I wanted is going to work out. And it’s awesome to know that I have plenty of time to find a roommate and housing and all that nonsense.”