After nearly four years of rigorous academics, impressive extracurriculars, and demanding social responsibilities, the Class of 2021 seniors have followed the long-standing J-D precedent of exceeding all expectations. As most seniors approach the May 1 college decision deadline, many face the difficult decision of which school they’ll be attending this fall to continue their education at a higher level.
Students have been preparing for the college admissions process since the minute that they entered high school, expanding their application with each grade they received and each activity they participated in. The process is certainly daunting, and each individual student handles it in a different way.
Some students have had their eye on the prize of a specific prestigious university since their first day as a freshman, like Senior Matt Alexander. Alexander committed to Bucknell University to play division one baseball in July of his junior year, but began talking to them as a freshman. “I received offers from a few other schools, most notably Cornell, but ultimately I chose Bucknell after a lot of thought and some decision making in terms of where I could play more and the engineering program that suited me best,” said Alexander. Because of his commitment, Alexander didn’t experience the typical college admissions process that most seniors anxiously complete. “The feeling [of committing] was stress-relieving and exciting. After a few long years of hard work and uncertainty, it was nice to tie everything up and figure out what I was doing,” said Alexander.
Just days from the deadline, other students are still unsure of their plans for next year. Senior Francesca Chirco is still deciding between five schools: Boston College, Colgate University, Lehigh University, University of Rochester, and Skidmore College. “This year, you don’t get the same experience visiting schools. Most schools only offer virtual tours or sessions and even if you can visit in-person, you can’t go into the buildings. Because of this, it’s really hard to see what the school is like and decide whether or not you want to spend the next four years there,” said Chirco. Especially when surrounded by peers that seem to be committing to schools every day, it can be extremely stressful and intimidating to those who haven’t yet decided. “In some ways it feels like everyone has it figured out but me. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to rush my decision and instead focus on finding the school that’s best for me,” said Chirco.
To those who have not yet entered the college admissions process: do not be discouraged. “You’re going to feel uncertain, but you have to know that you’ll figure it out with time. Trust whatever your gut tells you will make you the most happy,” said Chirco. To those who have completed the college admissions process: your hard work and efforts do not go unrecognized, and instead are rewarded by the gift of higher education. Congratulations and best of luck to the Class of 2021!