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Antonio and friends celebrating getting into college

I remember when I got into college. It was all fun for the first weeks. I could not stop celebrating – and you can read about my experience opening the decision letter here. But, the truth is that, after this first moment of ecstasy, I did not know what to do any more. I remember thinking classes were boring, the senioritis hitting, and the anxiety that came along with the ED decision. I wanted to pick classes, know more about my dorm options, make new friends, and figure out my D-Plan already. This is a run-down of what I did to get over this anxiety and animation, which I share in hopes of making some of you out there feel better :)

The Choates
View of the Choates, my dorm!

Personally, it took a long time for the ecstasy of getting into my dream school to go away. I caught myself daydreaming about courses, majors, minors, professors, dorms, and all that every day. But, as one does, I worried that I was living in the future, and not enjoying the incredible time that senior year is. I got into college in mid-December but as an International Baccalaureate alum, I still had to study for my final exams in May. Not only that, but – as my acceptance letter highlighted at the time – I had to keep up with my level of performance in academic, but also extracurriculars and all other factors considered in the application process. To keep my offer, I could not fall behind.

What I found, however, is that doing so could be more pleasing than I thought. Once I got into college and knew that I would never need to open Common App again, or worry about writing essays, I realised I could focus much more of my time on the things that brought me joy. Of course, I did not quit my study routine, but I allowed myself to dedicate myself to my dance club and my goal of learning languages – all things I had written about on my application. Now, I had the time to put some extra energy into these things and enjoy them without the pressure of achieving a performance level that would get me into college. This was great as it allowed me to engage so much more that I would leave a mark on these communities I was a part of. For example, in dedicating more time to dancing, I took the role of choreographing a couple dances; and, in learning languages, I had the time to practice more often and develop better conversation skills.

Applying Early Decision was, with no doubts, the best choice I made. Although stressful, I found myself to be truly lucky when I saw all my friends worrying about applications for another two months. Thus, my tip is to enjoy this extra time you have. Make the most of your opportunities, and be sure to enjoy every moment of your senior year.

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