In my previous post, I talked about early decision applications in general. Now, I’m going to talk about my personal experience of applying Early Decision to the University of Rochester, and why and how I made that decision.
My first visit to the school was the summer before my senior year, and I signed up for a campus tour led by one of the students. It was the first school on my list of many schools to visit, but trust me—the school and the tour made the longest lasting impact on me. There are many important elements to consider when it comes to campus tours—dormitories, bathrooms, student life, food, etc.
But my favorite thing about the entire school tour was the tour guide. I still remember her name and her obsession with avocados. All in all, she was a very funny and likable person, not to mention inspiring. I knew that if I went to a school with people like her, I would have a great time in school. Always remember that going to school is not just about academics; it is also about meeting new people and finding communities that you belong in.
Another thing about this school that I really loved was the Gleason Library inside Rush Rhees (above). Most libraries at other schools are silent and emphasize students studying by themselves. However, the Gleason Library is the very opposite—it encourages students to study in groups and have intellectual discussions with each other. Even the walls are painted in specific colors to encourage deep thinking, discussions, and intellectual conversations.
The last thing about Rochester that really stood out to me and eventually pushed me to make that Early Decision decision was the cluster system and open curriculum. Instead of picking your major right when you enter the school, Rochester allows you to explore and take classes in many different areas before picking your major. In fact, being undeclared as a freshman and even as a sophomore is totally okay, and even encouraged here!
Sure, in high school you may have taken some classes that interested you, but you only have a vague idea of what you want to study. By going to a university with an open curriculum like Rochester’s, you can enjoy a variety of classes that you may never have considered before and maybe find out that you love it.
So those are the main reasons why I decided to apply Early Decision to the University of Rochester. Considering every aspect of the school—academics, social life, location—I knew that I would be more than happy attending this school. A good tip to think about when applying early decision is: apply early decision if you can absolutely see yourself going to this school. And with the Rochester, I could.
Applying Early Decision to Rochester was an easier process than any other school’s process that I applied to. I knew this was what I wanted, and that encouraged me to work harder toward finishing the application. One question that you should always expect (whether in an interview or as an essay prompt, for example) for any college application (but especially for early decision applications) is, “Why do you want to attend our university?” If you can think of a million answers for that question and have a problem of narrowing down your ideas, then you have made the right decision to apply early decision.
Waiting for the results was the most difficult step in the application process because I wanted it so much. However, I want you to remember this: if you do not get in, it’s not the end of the world.
In the end, a school is just a school. Life will go on.