The following piece is a letter to the editor about picking the best college for you
Opinion of senior Elizabeth He
Before I begin my story, let me just clarify that the colleges I talk about are all good colleges. To future seniors, please do not assume that my journey will be the same as yours. Everyone has a different story, but here is mine.
I was at my friend’s house the summer before senior year. My friends and I were watching Harry Potter movies and began to take the quizzes on Pottermore to find out which Hogwarts house we each were in. I knew that I was a Ravenclaw, but forgot which animal I received from the patronus (spirit animal) quiz I took a few months prior. I logged on to check, and to my amazement, my patronus is a husky. At that time, I planned to apply to only Northeastern and UConn – which both have the husky as their mascots. Was it fate?
Two weeks earlier in the summer, I visited Northeastern University. It was love at first visit. The co-op programs intrigued me. I was undecided in my major and they have an explore program. The university has opportunities to study abroad. The campus is in the heart of Boston, a city with so much life. I got these good vibes.
The college application process is like handling a bunch of relationships at once. It is polygamy at its finest. When you are sending your applications to different schools, scheduling interviews with alumni, and touring campuses, you are flirting with universities and the universities are flirting with you. Early Decision is a binding marriage. Early Action is a commitment. So, unless you are for certain that a school is your soul mate before November 1st, I recommend that you wait to apply for EA or Regular Decision.
Later in the fall, I visited UConn. I have been on the campus before for different shenanigans, so I was familiar with the surroundings. As I learned more about their Undecided Program the opportunities that UConn has to offer, I felt some good vibes. I could see myself there. I decided to apply to two other schools, UMass and Brandeis, because I did not want to limit myself. Plus, it is okay to be polygamous in this process! To summarize, I applied EA for UMass and Northeastern and RD for UConn and Brandeis.
Waiting is a pain. You ask schools, “Do you like me?” and it takes ages for them to say, “Yes, I do” or “No, get out.” UMass was very eager. In early December, this institution accepted me, put me in a good program, and gave me a good amount of scholarship money. However, I did not feel any excitement to my acceptance because I had not visited UMass. In relationship terms, it is as if someone asked for my hand in marriage and I have never met the person.
A couple weeks later, I was lying in my bed under the covers and a notification appeared on my phone. As I logged into my student account, I felt my heart pounding in my chest. The screen loaded…blahblahblahblah…Deferred. Deferred?! I put my phone down at my side. No, no, it’s a dream. Wake up. I glanced at my phone again. The letter was still worded the same way. Tears glided down the sides of my face into my pillow. I pulled the covers up over my head. I thought Northeastern was crazy about me just as much as I was crazy about them.
I knew that I had to change the game. I had to confess my true feelings to Northeastern, so I sent a deferral letter that addressed why I wanted to attend and what I had been up to lately. Later, I heard back from UConn – acceptance, good program, and scholarship money. Brandeis accepted me as well.
I was only waiting for Northeastern to reply. The other three schools already bent down on their knees and presented an acceptance letter. In late March, I received an email. Accepted…into the N.U.in program? What the heck is that?! I later learn that in order to get admitted in the spring, I would have to study abroad my first semester. It seemed cool, but it was sketchy because I did not have the choice to attend in the fall. After a FaceTime chat with one of my friends who goes to Northeastern, I learned that the program is the school’s way of accepting more freshmen (a.k.a. more money). The university currently does not have enough housing, so the administration expects some of the first semester students to flunk out or leave campus, opening up more housing for students returning from abroad. To be honest, I compare it to United Airlines overbooking seats. I was not disappointed, but I was definitely not happy.
I narrowed my choices down to Northeastern and UConn – a red husky and a blue husky battling for my love. I began to relize I could replace “college” with the word “men.” Northeastern was not that into me. When I asked them the first time whether they like me, they said “maybe”. I confess my love, and they say, “Wait a few months.” Following my salty episodes, I recognized that Northeastern is an institution better suited for independent people with a vague plan of their next five years. I hate to admit it, but I am not one of those people. I have no idea who I am going to be, and that is okay. We just were not compatible. I had to say goodbye.
Finally I realized (and I quote from the movie Love, Rosie) that “sometimes you don’t see that the best thing that’s ever happened to you is sitting there, right under your nose.” University of Connecticut, you have loved me from the very beginning and I cannot wait to spend the next four years of my life with you. Also, I fulfilled my ultimate prophecy. Now, I am a husky. A blue one.