Hey Campers! How’s your semester going? We hope it’s going well!
As we come to the close of application season, we decided to have an interview with this year’s CAMP mentees - (Beatriz Go, Alyssa Yu and Patricia Ong) who got accepted for Early Decision; how they chose, found out and what they plan to do with all that time before their first semester starts!
When is ED/EA right for you? (How did you choose ED/EA)
In my case, NYUAD was my dream school and since I was taking a gap year, I had a lot of time on my hands to work on my application, with the help of Kimi, my lovely mentor. I think you should definitely go for ED/EA if you’ve done thorough research on different schools and decided on one that you could really see yourself in for the next four years. If you have this and if you’ve planned out early enough to meet all the requirements (essays, documents, standardized tests et al) by November, then EA/ED would be a good choice as it would show that you’re really interested in the school. For most colleges, the acceptance rate is higher for ED/EA rounds as opposed to RD rounds and chances of getting accepted are slightly higher since the applicant pool is smaller. The chance of having that clarity regarding where you’ll be spending the next 4 years come Christmas is also an added bonus.
ED/EA is right for you when you’ve gone to the effort to do the necessary requirements (SATs, essays, ask for recommendations) before most others students (aka before November 1), are satisfied with your results by then, and have narrowed the ED/EA school as a top choice school for you. For ED, this is an even tougher decision I think. You have to be sure it is the number 1 choice for you because once accepted, this is a binding agreement. You have to do a lot of research (website, books, current students, alumni) to see to it that you don’t look back and say… “what if”.
It took me quite some time to decide on whether I should apply early action, early decision, or regular decision to certain schools. There were a lot of factors to consider while making a decision. Such factors include the schools’ availability of my course of study, proper research on institutions, and getting a good feel of the campuses. I had a lot of schools in mind, but after a while, I decided that it would be best for me to apply to St. John’s University on early action. Early action is for those who want to keep their options open and at the same time be secured of admission to a school of their choice while early decision is for those who are absolutely committed and dedicated to the school they’re applying to.
2. How did you choose the right school? (We know you can only apply to one with this application)
Not going to lie, I’m highly HIGHLY indecisive so during freshman year I was quite overwhelmed by all the different possibilities—which continent I even wanted to go to was unclear (I was considering N. America, Europe, Asia, & Australia…see what I mean about being indecisive?). I found going to different university forums & visits were helpful in helping me narrow down the schools that would be the "best fit” for me. Ultimately, it came down to a school with a strong academic program that would allow me to interact with professors and students that were highly engaged and would also offer the opportunities for internships and travel, yet one that would not burn a hole in my parents’ pockets. NYUAD ticked off all those boxes and more so that’s how I came to my decision. Research is key, so I highly recommend starting early, especially if you’re indecisive like I am.
Wharton’s always been the one for me. In terms of academics - it has the best undergraduate business program! It’s not just that though, you also have to think about the environment you’re putting yourself into. I decided I wanted people who would push me to do my best and I think Penn is really known for that kind of culture. It’s different for each school - some might have more relaxed environments than others, and I think in the end, you have to know which combination you’d ideally fit in.
I had a lot of great schools in mind, but I had to narrow my list down to a certain criteria. First and foremost, I chose a school which had my course of study which was economics. Second, I chose a selective school that gave top notch education. Third, I chose a school that is near my house in New York!
3. What are your (unique) experiences/reactions to having such a long time finding out when you got in and when you actually begin?
As I said previously, I’m taking a gap year so I’m definitely looking forward to the 7 month long “interlude” I have left between high school & college. After graduating & prior to getting accepted to NYUAD, I did a bit of charity work & studied Arabic so I want to continue that but also I’m looking forward to sleeping without having to set an alarm! I maaay have also made a list the other day of “things I want to do before college” which include learning how to cook & drive, developing my own photos, binge watching/ reading on the huge backlog I have of movies/ tv shows/ books, and possibly possibly working out though that one’s still up for discussion. Additionally I signed up for a couple of courses on Coursera including “The Music of the Rolling Stones 1962-1974” by the University of Rochester so I’d say it’s gonna be a good 7 months ahead.
In the beginning, I thought applying to colleges would be such a complicated process. It involved a lot of paper work, writing essays, and preparing for a lot of tests to possibly gain admission. But with the help of CAMP, I realized it wasn’t so bad after all. I found it exciting to be preparing for exams, writing essays, submitting applications, and eventually getting decisions from schools. A unique experience of mine would be interview day for St. John’s University. I remember it was a normal Wednesday and I was in Economics class when I was called to the guidance office of my school. There, the admissions counselor of St. John’s University was ready to interview students and give instant decisions. I was really nervous, because it was my very first college interview and I was totally caught off guard from randomly being pulled out of class. But when my turn came, it went better than expected. The admissions director carefully reviewed my application, then I got accepted to the college. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but it definitely is something that I’ll always remember.