Sunset on the beach - logically this is probably a Seattle beach
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Me and my friend hugging. You can see a bit of my green Dartmouth sweater. It is night and the scenery is urban.

I wasn't planning on writing this blog post now. I wanted to keep it in the list of "to write in case you don't have anything else to talk about." For the past several weeks, though, I've kept replaying the moment I opened my letter in December 2022. Maybe it's seeing the '28 early admits. Maybe it's feeling so far away from my dorm and my friends for so long. I'm not sure where the feeling's coming from, but I think it's time to write my thoughts down here.

I was a pretty meticulous applicant. I spent hours pouring over every supplement with friends, family, and teachers. I remember feeling petrified to send an email to my Dartmouth admissions officer, knowing that my biggest dream was for him—and other Dartmouth Admissions staff—to vouch for my candidacy. Everything was as thoroughly checked as it could possibly be by November 1st.

And then it was time to wait.

Waiting was the hardest part. If you're waiting to hear back from your "dream school" right now, I'm rooting for you because it is tough. I tried to prioritize my mental health by spending more time with friends, muting Dartmouth Instagram handles, and generally just trying to keep the decision out of my mind. Even with every step I took, I remember feeling so worried about my future. In that time, I managed to convince myself that there was no way I was getting in.

In a lot of ways, I think my lack of confidence protected me. I was fully prepared to get denied, full stop. However, because of my pessimistic approach, I hadn't considered the possibility of actually getting in.

Like many students, I broke into tears when I opened my letter. I screamed with my best friend as we called my parents and other friends. But even in the excitement, the dread began to set in. How was I going to succeed? Did I even deserve my spot?

A screenshot of a FaceTime call. Me and my friend are the big picture, my mom and sister are the small picture.
Telling my mom and sister that I got in. Probably my favorite moment of 2022.

If you're feeling the same imposter syndrome, don't worry. It feels difficult at the moment, but 95% of those fears melt away once you make it to campus. That other 5% shows that you are a genuine and humble person.

Before getting in, I promised myself one thing. Everyone talks about how rejections don't mean you're any less deserving than those who got in. Nobody talks about how acceptances don't mean you're any more deserving than those who didn't get in. I promised myself that I would keep both of these truths with me while supporting my friends as they heard back from colleges and as a student at whatever institution I chose.

I hope this entry helps you find peace in whatever stage of the college process you're in. You've got this, my friend. I'm rooting for you.

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