Senior Insights on College Decisions


Lola Pitman, Head Opinions Editor

May 1 brought a happy reprieve to Poly’s seniors and seniors around the country; it was the final day that seniors could submit their acceptance deposit to the school where they will pursue their higher education. The journey has been quite a long one, beginning in early junior year for most. On the path to an acceptance letter, the senior class has learned a lot, like how to pick the school that was right for them and where to even begin looking. 

Most of these hardships have come to an end in recent weeks; the beginning of April signaled the end of college decisions and the end of May marked the traditional end of college enrollments. However, until the end of August, students that have been put on the waitlist at a school can potentially still be accepted. This is why some students do not make their final choice until the last few days. 

Poly’s senior class, however, has been committing to schools throughout the school year. Many decisions were reported by the @polyprep2022 Instagram; the account is run by a member of the senior class. When a student decides on their school, they have the option to send in a baby photo to be posted with their acceptance. Adding to the heightened tension and anticipation, seniors are excited to see where they and their peers will end up. 

Along with the end of their college application process comes reflection. Senior Emilie Schilling said, “I didn’t like hearing ‘no,’ but [I] don’t take it too personally, which is what all the deans will say.”

A school isn’t looking only for academics—they also look for students who are suitable for their campus and will thrive in their new environment. Rejection can mean that the school just wasn’t the right fit.

Senior Miranda Meyer said, “Originally I wanted to go to a bigger school, but I also realized that the people at Tulane were more similar to me, that I fit in more there. Even though Wisconsin was a larger sports school, which I originally wanted.”

The pressure to choose the best-fitting school can be intense. 

“I think that in general, there’s a heavy sort of pressure to go to certain schools, name schools, thinking that X school is the perfect place for me. But colleges have become now that if you want to become an economics major, you can do that anywhere. Not just the Harvards of the world. I also think that largely, students from Poly, if accepted to any school, across the spectrum, can do well,” said Dean Douglas Wong, who advises his cohort through the college process. 

Rather than basing a decision on what peers think, the college decision should be based on where students can see themselves thriving. Thanks to Poly, Wong said he has faith that any student should be able to thrive in their new schools. While the whole process can be highly stressful, the seniors have reached the end of the arduous stretch. To celebrate, they used their last few days to host some long-held traditions. One of these traditions included seniors coming to school dressed in merch from their future college. The students often take photos at Poly with friends and commemorate the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.

Wong expressed his excitement for the seniors: “I think that that symbolizes a huge release of stress and anxiety and it is always a nice thing to see kids sort of excited for the next piece.”

Senior Ben Rosenberg echoed this sentiment: “It’s certainly been a journey, a lot of rejections. But it’s been a lot of fun at the end of the day and it’s just taken a lot of time…I’m excited and I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.”