Last year, on December 12th, 2014, I opened my EA decision letter from Harvard.
Just yesterday, I realized (while procrastinating for exams) that December 10th is the day a handful of Ivies (Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, and Brown) release their early action/early decision results. Not unlike me just a year ago, I see the Class of 2016 fidgeting on the applicant groups on Facebook, weighing their chances and praying to the admission gods for a miracle.
Maybe you got the decision you wanted… or maybe you didn’t.
But, whatever it was, I want to tell you: “that’s ok.”
When I opened my decision letter from Harvard about a year ago, I was devastated. Being deferred seemed like the absolute end. of. the. world. I remember staying up all night wondering what I did wrong, what I could’ve done better, where I could possibly go from there. I was so discouraged, so hurt, and the worst part is that they didn’t really give me a straight answer.
While I still have no idea why I got deferred, I can say that that admissions decision opened me up to new possibilities. I started looking at other schools more seriously and stopped betting all my money in one. By April, I had several amazing options, and one of those was Cornell.
Today, I know that Cornell is, by far, the better fit for me. I think I am far more happy here, at Cornell, than I ever would be at Harvard. It’s absolutely nothing against Harvard–they are still an amazing institution and I think I still would’ve loved a chance to go there–but Cornell and I… we’re sort of like soul mates. Cornell is everything I wanted, and then some. I met a new family here. I experienced breathtaking sunsets, I climbed up 161 steps to the top of the clock tower. I laughed, I cried… and I grew. I would never change any aspect of my experience for anything. The thing is, if I haven’t been deferred almost a year ago, I don’t think I’d find my way to Cornell. (So thanks, Harvard!)
So to the Class of 2016: open your heart to possibilities. Yes, being deferred (or rejected) sucks. It absolutely does. But it is also not the end of the world. You will find your perfect match, and if a school said “no”–then that is not meant to be. It’s their loss, and you will find a school that will match YOUR personality, YOUR interests, and YOUR goals–most likely even better than the one you got rejected/deferred from. And if a school said “maybe,” you definitely still have a chance of getting in–update them and let them know you’re still very, very interested. But at the same time, it’s not a bad idea to start looking at other schools and get excited about their programs too. As a friend of mine said last year during the college admissions process… college is like a plate of desserts. You get to pick!
So… chin up, buttercup! There are better days ahead. There WILL be a college that will fall in love with you, and one that you will fall in love with. It’s only a matter of time. :) Just hang in there.