Thirteen and a half years.
We had been preparing for 13 and a half years to enter the realm of adulthood by stepping into the next phase of our life: college.
We crammed every bit of those 13 and a half years into a 350 word essay, a brief resume, a portfolio.
We, taking information from past decision trends based on statistics and extracurriculars, were predicting, almost expecting, that we would receive admission offers from schools we perceived as less competitive.
We poured over scattergrams displaying the GPAs and SAT or ACT scores of past students who applied to certain universities and whether they were accepted, waitlisted or rejected, imagining ourselves as one of the green checkmarks on 2018’s scattergram.
Once decisions rolled in, however, some of us began to feel that our lengthy investment did not produce a fruitful return.
As the days in March slowly began to dwindle, the number of rejections and waitlist offers continued to increase.
The influx of college decisions by mail, email and college portal updates ushered in widespread feelings of disappointment among our class. Spirits, to say the least, were low.
Some universities chose to release acceptances according to a student’s major or intended college before waitlist offers, and waitlist offers before rejections, slowly killing our aspirations by leading us on, mercilessly causing us to hope we still had a chance to attend the schools of our dreams.
Theories trying to explain why our class, why our class specifically, had been subject to such torment and disappointment began to circulate in an attempt to foster solace in an environment where self-confidence had dropped dramatically.
Maybe they did not want me because they knew I would not choose them in the end. Maybe they wanted a more well-rounded student body. Maybe they did not want to accept too many students and will offer me admission from the waitlist.
We could not confirm any of our suspicions born of feelings of insecurity, however, as colleges refused to acknowledge the unusual inconsistencies in their admission patterns this year.
Thousands of us flooded to online forums such as College Confidential in a desperate attempt to seek answers, but from this anxiety came empathy.
Students like us who believed they had been unfairly targeted found similar cases of woe, and for the first time in this tumultuous process, we felt relief, relief that we were not alone.