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McLean seniors begin to celebrate college acceptances

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As the first two weeks of December went by, anticipation built up among many students of the McLean senior class, as they anxiously waited to see whether they would gain acceptance into some of the most prestigious colleges in the country. With many of these colleges releasing early action (EA) and early decision (ED) admissions this past week, a few McLean students were thrilled to receive notification of their acceptance to their respective schools.

Long before learning their admissions decisions, however, these seniors spent much time filling out their college applications. In order to complete a “traditional” college application, students are required to write a personal essay, and often in addition, write a few smaller supplemental essays relating to a wide range of topics. Most applicants (even those who did not get in to college this week) started their application and essays months before their deadlines. For many, the entire process can be very stressful.

“I probably spent about two months working on my application. I started over the summer so I could have more time,” said senior Thomas Nappi, who was admitted as an ED applicant to Cornell University this week. Even with all that time  and work spent into his application, Nappi was skeptical of his admission chances initially.

“I thought that it was kind of a long-shot at first, but I got more confident in myself over time,” Nappi said.

Nour Khachemoune, who was accepted to Harvard University this week, spent much less time on her application, but does not advise others to do the same thing.

“I wrote my Common App essay over the span of two days, and wrote my supplemental essay over a few hours…definitely don’t do that!” Similar to Nappi, Khachemoune did not believe strongly in her chances of getting admitted to her desired school. “I thought there was close to no chance of me getting in, because I haven’t done anything extraordinary. However, I was hoping I could be one of the normal kids they accept.”

Regardless of the amount of time spent on applications, the satisfaction of getting in to one’s favorite college seems to have outweighed the stresses of doing the work in the eyes of these McLean seniors. The pure excitement and overwhelming emotion of reading an acceptance letter is an experience they will remember for years to come.

“I was not expecting [to get in] at all, and when I read ‘Congratulations’ I screamed, or rather screeched as one of my friends said. I then made sure that I wasn’t just seeing things because I still couldn’t believe it… I still can’t really wrap my head around it being true, but I’m insanely excited,” Khachemoune explained.

Senior editor-in-chief of The Highlander, Siddarth Shankar, was just accepted into Yale University, and could not believe it when he found out he got accepted.

“I first didn’t believe it, I just kept refreshing the page because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t fake. It was just a huge sense of relief because I worked so hard for the past four  years, and it finally came together,” Shankar said.

Furthermore, the assurance for these seniors that they will be attending a college, at such an early point in the school year, takes much pressure off the idea that they need to stress over applications and grades for the rest of the school year. In addition, they have much to look forward to about going to their respective schools.

“Honestly, what I’m looking forward to the most is not having to worry about the college application process for the rest of the year. It feels good to be done with it,” Nappi said.

Shankar has numerous reasons to look forward to his time at Yale.

“The winters, the classes, the people, just everything about it. The fact that it’s a city but not too big, and that it has a college town vibe,” Shankar said.

Seniors Alex Bellomo, who was just accepted to Carnegie Mellon University, and David Gartner, an ED admit to The College of William & Mary, also expressed their relief of getting into college, and have much to look forward to.

“I’m looking forward to being able to relax more with my grades for the rest of the year and of course I’m looking forward to going to school there in the fall,” Gartner said. “It was a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.”

“After [I was accepted] I felt just relieved to not have to worry about it anymore. I’m looking forward to moving into Pittsburgh and meeting new people in the city. It should be fun.” Bellomo explained.

For most of the remaining seniors, their final regular admission decisions are usually released by the beginning of April. Although the college application process is intimidating, McLean seniors have shown that putting in dedication and motivation will make the whole process worthwhile.

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