Devil’s Advocate: The Polygon’s New Advice Column

William Ling-Regan and Eleanor Brown


Dear Secretive Senior,


Having people watching and talking about you and your successes and failures is something that we’ve all experienced. During the college process you’re going through now, it seems like everyone is obsessing over who’s applying where. It’s already really hard to get rejected, but when other people are invested, it can feel embarrassing or as if you’re letting them down. But when it comes to something as personal as your future college, it doesn’t matter how other people feel— it only matters how you feel. 

If you like discussing colleges with your friends and it makes you feel less stressed or more excited, talk to them. We know that most people are really supportive and non-judgemental when it comes to rejection. At the same time, though, Poly can be a competitive environment, so you shouldn’t feel bad about not telling your friends where you’re applying. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should keep everything to yourself. Instead, find someone else to talk to about college, someone who will listen to you, not micromanage you, and who won’t compare themself to you and your applications. A friend who goes to another school, an older friend who has been through this process already, a younger friend who isn’t overwhelmed by college yet, or an adult are all great people to talk to. And don’t forget, the Devil’s Advocate is always here to talk!

  All of these people have the added benefit of different viewpoints. If they aren’t thinking about college in the all-consuming way that other seniors are, talking to them can help you  put things in perspective and realize that everything is going to work out.

So, when people ask you where you’re applying, we see a few possible answers. One, if they’re someone you trust and will benefit from talking to, tell them where you’re applying and what you’re thinking. But for everyone else, you can avoid naming specific schools by answering with a type of school you like, or a location you want to go to college in, or something you’re interested in studying. If you just don’t want to tell them anything, you don’t have to. You can flat-out tell them you’re not applying early decision. Or, you can keep them guessing. Say that you’ll tell them where you’re going when you tell the college, or just tell them the truth, that you’re keeping it to yourself for now but will share it when you’re ready. Maybe you’ll even encourage some of your classmates to take the same approach as you.



The Devil’s Advocate


The Devil’s Advocate is the Polygon’s new advice column. Need advice? Write [email protected] a letter explaining your problem and we’ll publish it anonymously with advice from the Devil’s Advocate.