Early Bird Gets the Decision

You’ll knock on wood and throw salt over your shoulder for all the same reasons why I submitted my Harvard College application on November 11th at 11:11pm. Selectively following superstitions may help, but can’t possibly hurt, right? The mere possibility of benevolent supernatural forces swinging for your team is too tempting to miss out on.

Although Harvard College did not offer Early Action during my application cycle, I didn’t see a more opportune time to submit my application. The past two months consisted of neglecting high school assignments and slaving away for the hopeful prospect of pursuing a magical (Harry Potter-like?) higher level of education. I had not only ruthlessly sliced and diced my various personal statements, but also seasoned and sautéed the wording of each extracurricular activity – making sure to reference my (borderline unhealthy) obsession with Michael Phelps when I described my high school swimming career and also making sure to use my favorite word (concomitant) at least once per essay. Personally, it was of utmost priority that my application manifested my academic passions and intentions as well as my (dry and witty) sense of humor. When I caught myself subconsciously reciting my essays during school, I knew the time had come to thrust the weight off my shoulders like Karyn Marshall by clicking submit.

It’s an understatement for me to say that I’m eternally elated about the fact that Early Action at Harvard College has returned. A mid-December decision relative to an April Fool’s Day decision is exactly like getting three scoops of cookies and cream ice cream when you expected one scoop of plain vanilla; meaning there are endless benefits from Early Action.

I’d like to first take a moment to address those who chose not to submit early, were deferred, denied, or the like. You are in no way inferior; it’s completely illogical and unhealthy to think of yourself in this way so don’t!! I’m a big believer in the saying “everything happens for a reason” so whatever disappointment or frustration you’re feeling needs to be leveraged into positive energy, used to assess your academic plans. It’s most definitely not the end of your life and your future can appear even brighter than before if you take advantage of your extra time. By having at least one decision this early on in the application cycle, you can choose to apply to even more schools or different schools as well. Don’t be discouraged! I know this is much easier said than done but this seriously is not the end of the light in a tunnel – think of it more as one dark turn that you have to make before the light reappears.

Secondly, I’d like to take a moment and send congratulatory and celebratory vibes to all those accepted as members of the Harvard College Class of 2016. It’s a true honor and was genuinely earned by your admirable, lofty efforts so please don’t let anyone else lead you to believe otherwise. I really hope you consider enrolling at the College just as seriously as the Admissions Officers did because I have confidence that you can really add that extra kick of diversity that no one can ever have too much of.

I remember my high school senior spring April Fool’s Day when my California lifestyle gave me a three hour advantage. Decisions were emailed at 5:00pm EST (that’s 2:00pm PST) so I was still in school and avoided publicly checking my email at all costs. I even left my last class a few minutes early to make up a Biology test I had been absent for. As I handed in my test, my teacher offered to grade it immediately. I spent this time hesitantly meandering to one of the student computers to check my email. One epic unread email was bolded in my Gmail inbox account. As I eagerly clicked and scrolled down, my eyesight and fine motor functions escaped as a result from my lack of breathing. Tears streamlined down my cheeks as I slowly comprehended what I was reading. I ran outside to make some phone calls and returned as a snotty mess when my teacher summoned my presence to return my test. Her profound worry quickly transformed into a warm embrace as I mumbled the news in between hyperventilating gasps. Then, I went to swim practice. #storyofaswimmerslife

One of the common questions during Freshman Week is acceptance stories so you might want to rehearse jokes and bring props 😉 Being an eager beaver has paid off and I hope you’ll soon have many encounters with friendly (erm..semi-friendly) Harvard Yard squirrels!


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