To Early Decision Applicants...

To Early Decision Applicants...

The time has come...
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Ahhh, yes. Just last year I was one of you. I knew I was going to apply early decision to my dream school basically my whole life. I was a legacy. I basically grew up on campus. And if you’re one of those applying ED, if you’re one of those willing to rescind all of your other applications pending that one acceptance, you’ve probably known for a while too. Most people believe it’s taking the easy way out. They believe the process is making the decision for you. But what nobody tells you is that once the time comes to hit the submit button, the following moments are the most brutal of your life.

Here’s a couple things you should know if you’re an early decision applicant:

The decision will not magically come sooner.

Stop checking the portals weeks in advance. The amount of times you log in before that coveted decision date will have no effect on what your letter says. If you have the urge to log in: breathe, and focus your mind on something else.

Don’t second guess yourself.

This place is your top choice for a reason. Yes, other schools have their own unique qualities, and it may cause you to rethink your choice, but remember the things you love about your ED school. It has its perks too. You’re going to be ecstatic if you get in, and you’re going to love attending.

Don’t drive yourself crazy.

Waiting for an ED decision is probably one of the most nerve wracking feelings in the world. I used to cry myself to sleep at night thinking about how much I wanted to get in. Don’t be me. It won’t help you. If you’re ever thinking about it, think of something else. Pondering the what-ifs is just going to make you even more uneasy.

Have safety schools.

If you’re applying somewhere ED, it’s probably because it’s a reach or you really, really don’t see yourself anywhere else. Either way, rejection happens and it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case. No matter how sure you are, you can’t be too sure. So fill out some safety apps.

Being rejected is not the end of the world.

There are plenty of people out there who have been rejected early decision from their dream schools and have ended up exactly where they are meant to be, elsewhere. Of course the possibility of being rejected is painful, and you have every reason to be upset if it occurs. But the only thing to do is to pick yourself back up and consider your other fantastic options.

Believe me, I know some of these suggestions are easier said than done. But I had always wished that someone was there to remind me that applying ED doesn't have to be stressful. If you are lucky enough to be accepted, congratulations! Your college process is over, and you can enjoy the rest of senior year without a care in the world. If a rejection letter unfortunately makes its way to you, take it as a symbol that a better fit is out there for you, and you just have to find it. The wait is almost over, seniors. Good luck to all!

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Being Different Is Not OK

The dangers of the lessons we're taught as kids.

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So I've been working in childcare since the year 2000. Through this field I've witnessed A LOT of worldly experiences. Perhaps the common and forsaken experience I've had in this field is seeing the lessons and things that I wished were never taught to me being taught those coming up now.

I always knew that being introverted was a personality trait that people hated. I wasn't aware of why it was hated so much. It was just something society has always pushed against. Anything to make kids more sociable was okay, damn how the kid felt about it. If the kids are seen playing alone or reading or just minding their own business, we make them interact. Make them share toys. Make them move to a part of the room where more kids are. Go over and play with the child ourselves so they're not alone.

Now, don't get me wrong, bullying could be the reason the child isn't interacting with others. Then maybe I could see trying to connect the child with others to help them see that not all kids are bullies. However, if they don't want to interact, why make them?

One of the teachers had some of the kids stay at her house one weekend for a play date. She described how one of the girls hid under a table and read the whole weekend. They all thought she was really strange. The other girls won't invite her to their house anymore. The other teachers all agreed and shared their own stories of the girl not interacting with anyone. She is branded a strange child with nothing to be done for her. I felt so bad for the girl who was just happy enjoying what she wanted to enjoy. The fact that others don't share the girl's interests and don't want to take the time to try to take an interest in her has nothing to do with her.

Then there's the ever present fear of children "turning gay". Boys are not allowed to play with anything that are "for girls." Girls are not allowed to play with anything that is "for boys." Whenever we watch television, it has to be a program thats for both boys and girls. With the smaller kids that's easy. With the schoolagers being directly impacted by gender stereotypes, it's much harder. Bullying becomes an issue when boys like shows “meant for girls" or vice versa. The saddest part is that other teachers support when the girls question why a boy likes a certain show or likes certain music or vice versa for the girls!

It doesn't just happen in childcare settings. These kids are getting these same messages at home and at school when they become school age. Being alone is not okay. Be around people. Talk about something, anything, as long as other people like that thing too. If you're a boy and you like to play with Barbies, there's something wrong. If you're a girl and you like to build with blocks, there's something wrong.

Girls should only talk to other girls and boys should only talk to other boys. There's no reason boys and girls should be talking to each other.

I don't know how many times I was that same little girl hiding somewhere reading. How many times I still am that little girl. My mother tried desperately to get me to interact with other kids. My teachers always made me interact with my classmates. I couldn't get away from anyone growing up. My mom always forced me to wear dresses and stockings. She tried to make me wear make up. It's not that I didn't want to be a girly girl, I just always wished I could be a girly girl without all that fanfare. My mother didn't want to hear that. Afterall, thats how she learned to be a lady, so why didn't I want that? I had an absolutely terrible childhood.

All I had were my books and Barbies, and my mother HATED that I had both. She hated that I stayed in my room. That I didn't have friends. When I got to Junior High and finally started making friends, they were all just like me. She hated that. The kids in school hated that I wasn't like them.

Even in a performing arts high school it was strange and unacceptable to be quiet. It was unacceptable to not adhere to gender norms. You were looked at as a lost cause, and your parents were considered failures for you not falling in line.

I see these same godforsaken values being placed on kids today. Recently one afternoon, out the blue one of the schoolagers comes up to me and asked why I don't talk. He's already realized that people who don't talk are strange. Coworkers CONSTANTLY try to get me to go out with them on weekends or eat the foods they eat or try to get me to talk about my private life. Why don't I ever wear makeup or wear dresses or talk about guys?

It's disgusting. It's a tragedy that these lessons are drilled into us basically from birth and are what frame our experience of the world thereafter. This is one of the reasons I can't wait to leave this field.

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