An Open Letter to College Applicants


Crystal Sung

Photo credit Crystal Sung.

Crystal Sung, Editor in Chief

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a #stressedsenior procrastinating on… drumroll… college applications…


Enjoy the ultimate irony of this piece— reading about college apps for fun while working on college apps— while emails from universities you’ve never even heard of tick in at a rate of 20 per second, and deadlines begin to materialize on the dashboard of the Common Application. That didn’t help, did it?

I’m sure you don’t want to hear some inspirational speech about how you don’t need to worry about college— after all, it does determine the course of the rest of your life. What I will say though is that no matter where you end up, you will find your own direction. My mom’s favorite reminder (besides “you need to update your additional resume again”) is that a crystal will shine no matter where it is thrown. Ignoring the minor flaw in her logic that not even a crystal can shine in the dark, it is a true fact— a true fact, not an alternative fact— that you’re an amazing human and will stay that way no matter which university you attend.

Ah yes, it’s the Early Action deadline today. If you were pressing red “Continue” buttons into the ripe hours of yesternight and wondering how little four years boiled down to, I understand your pain. I too moved my mouse towards the “Submit” button at least 382 times and stopped in favor of checking all the information I’d entered again. I too made more edits to my already over edited essay(s) and knew, deep down inside, that there would be typos the next day I could no longer change.

But at last! Green dots line one entry of the dashboard. You have completed Round 1.

Now… now there is only the long long wait, also known as the Dark Ages, till mid-December where acceptances, deferrals and, God forbid, rejections, tick in. Acceptances means tears and congratulations. But remember, rejections do not mean you’re not good enough, and deferrals do not mean you’re just forever in some sort of “pending” limbo.

Oh, I forgot. There’s still UCs and Regular Decision. It’s better though, because now that you’ve gotten the hang of maneuvering slow application websites and writing all the essays you need to write, everything will be easier. Trust me, everything. Will. Be. Easier.

Come March, you’ll have committed to a school you love to begin the best four years of your life. Come next August, you’ll be off, off and away!