Seniors reflect on their early college applications

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As the Nov. 1 deadline approached, tensions rose. A lifetime of hard work and dedication culminated as the Class of ‘23 applied to their first-choice schools Early Action (EA), Early Decision (ED) or Restrictive Early Action (REA).

When assessing one’s performance during the early application season, hindsight is 20/20. Even before college decisions come out, two seniors reflect on their respective application processes, offering advice to younger students.

Senior Carly Aikens submitted five college applications early, to the University of Miami, Northeastern University, the University of Florida, Case Western Reserve University and Emory University. Advising other students to refrain from procrastinating, Aikens emphasized the value of time management. “I think I managed my supplemental essays for different schools pretty well, but going forward I need to make sure I do a better job of looking over each school’s individual application requirements,” she said.

By Nov. 1, senior Rosa Wu had applied to three schools: the University of Florida, the University of Michigan and Harvard College. Because she only had three applications due, her life and workload was relatively normal. 

“The hardest part was getting started but once I did, I found essay writing was not too bad. I try to stay very organized and identify which essays overlapped between applications and focused on those to be most efficient,” Wu said.

Senior Mudit Marwaha submitted four applications early, choosing Princeton University as his Restrictive Early Action choice. He feels grateful for starting early because it meant that he did not have to stress close to the deadlines. Holding himself accountable, Marwaha set a goal to finish one school’s prompt every weekend during the summer. He admits that he should have been more open to hearing other people’s criticism and feedback on his essays.

“For juniors, I know everyone says this, but seriously do start over the summer. For freshmen, stop trying to ‘game’ the system. Ultimately, just do what you feel passionate about and have an end goal in mind. The logistics will take care of itself,” Marwaha said.

Senior Aurora Lai hits “Submit” on her Pennsylvania State University application in her College Advisor Ms. Rebecca Mendelson’s office. Weeks later, she received news that she had been accepted. (Photo/Aurora Lai)

Now a junior at American Heritage, Anya returns as co-Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the Patriot Post. With her passion for journalism, she is Co-Vice President of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society and President of the Current Events Club. As a Youth Ambassador for Bullets4Life, Anya advocates for gun control. She leads the student body as Co-President of SGA and competes nationally in Speech & Debate, Model UN, FBLA and Mock Trial. To relax, Anya hangs out with friends, swims, goes on walks and binge watches Netflix. She loves the beach, karaoke, good food and her lazy little dog Simba more than anything.