High Stakes: Chapter 2

By: Catherine Wang

Alexis: the Athlete

Alexis’* college list has not changed – she is still being recruited by Emory University, Saint Mary’s College of California, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has however, selected a top choice: St. Mary’s.



Alexis has not gone on any official recruiting trips to any school yet, as she is waiting for a convenient time to go.

“Not just for me but also for [the schools] as well because they are very busy during [this] season,” she said.

Aiden: All-Around

“It still has a new car smell,” Aiden* says of his college application process.

“I haven’t done much really other than the basic info on the Common Application, he said.

Aiden has difficulty picturing himself at any one particular school at the moment, so he does not think he will apply anywhere early. He still plans on applying to University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Duke University, and has his eye on the University of Pennsylvania, what he considers a “challenge” school.

As for his senior year classes, Aiden is enjoying himself, saying his classes are “easy” compared to last year. He is upbeat about his final year in high school.

“I’m having a smooth ride this year,” he said. “Smooth sailing.”

Carter: the Brain

Carter* is still planning on going full throttle and applying to three schools Early Action: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and University of Chicago.

He has been writing rough drafts of application essays, but he is still coming up with new essay ideas, he said. CalTech and Chicago use the Common Application, while MIT has its own application.

Regarding the emphasis he puts on each application, Carter said he gives 100 percent of his effort on all three.

“I don’t want to sacrifice one for the other,” he said.

A science and math oriented student, Carter is not sure whether he will submit a science supplement with his application yet.

Zoe: the Artist

Zoe* has decided that in addition to applying to New York University Early Decision, she will apply to Emerson University Early Action.

She has been working on both of the schools’ applications and plans on starting the University of Southern California application next. She has started a draft of the Common Application essay.

“Finishing my early applications before October would be ideal,” she said. “But I’m kind of a procrastinator, so I’ll probably get it done in October. Basically, I just want to get it done three weeks before the Nov. 1 deadline.”

Zoe called the process of compiling her art portfolio “crazy,” and said she still has a lot of work to do on them.

“I’m sort of numb with senior year and pressure and applications,” she said.

However, she does find senior year to be more enjoyable than junior year.

“All the classes I’m taking are ones I want to take,” she said. “None of them are filling requirements or for college.

Madison: the Performer

In the past weeks, Madison* finalized her decision to apply to Wesleyan College Early Decision, and she has been working on her application.

With two different performing arts shows approaching as well as a commitment to a major student club, she has “a lot going on.”

“I have a lot on my plate,” she said. “I have to do a lot of time management now and give up social time. But I do it all because I love to.”

As of now, Madison plans on submitting a performing arts resume with the Common Application, but Wesleyan does not have a performing arts supplement.

“I’m excited for [the college process] to be started and for it be over with too,” she said.

*names have been changed