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Gold or Coal: College Decisions Before Winter Break

How do dream decisions impact holiday cheer?

Most of Edison High spent the season enjoying hot chocolate, holiday movies, New Year parties, and Secret Santa. However, for many seniors, the real surprise had not been the gift under the tree, but rather the decision within a college letter. From loads of seniors sending early decision (ED) or [restrictive] early action (REA or EA) applications to their highly selective dream schools, to the greater majority of seniors wishing for an acceptance letter before the New Year, the winter season has been marked by college application and decision frenzy.
For seniors applying to college, there are a few ways to apply to universities. They could ED, which would mean submitting applications early, and if accepted, they would be contractually obligated to attend the university. BY REAing, they can only apply early to one private university, but they do not need to attend if accepted. They could EA, which would only require submitting their applications early. Lastly, they could Regular Decision (RD), for which applications are due later, and decisions come out in Spring.
For those who have been lucky enough to receive good news before the holiday season, the decisions promote holiday cheer.
“I think that getting into college was such a blessing, and it was relieving to know where my life was headed for the next four years,” said Mei Kim ‘24.
Jeet Jagtap ’24 echoed Kim’s sentiments, and entered winter break with a positive outlook.
“I am honestly excited,” said Jagtap, “My decisions were honestly pretty great. I don’t think things could have been better for me.”
After years of balancing challenging coursework and numerous extracurriculars, some seniors feel that their hard work has finally paid off.
“I have already gotten three decisions,” said Noreen Amponsah ‘24, “They kind of alleviate the stress senior year brings, and they feel rewarding, as you are working so hard, and you finally get to see results.”
For others, just completing applications before break alleviated stress.
“A lot of results I am waiting on are coming next year, so I feel good going into break knowing that I have those applications submitted and can relax until I get my results,” said Rahul Katragadda ‘24.
While some might assume that getting into college might reduce motivation for the rest of high school, Kim disagrees.

Ever since I got in, people have told me a lot of things like ‘you’re set’ or ‘you don’t even need to come to school anymore,’ which is funny to hear. But the burden of anxiety being lifted has actually let me focus on school more, and I feel like I’ve been working harder in my classes and even performing better.

— Mei Kim '24

Though, early acceptances do come with their own set of challenges.
“I was never the smartest, so I thought that I wasn’t deserving enough or smart enough,” said Kim, “It’s a difficult thing to process, and the imposter syndrome is very much present, as many of my friends are still going through the admissions process.”
Regardless of the results, many seniors continue to work on applications during winter break.
“I’ll be working on college apps during break,” said Amponsah, “It does stress me out, but then again, I am looking forward to getting it over with.”

I feel like, when the New Year starts, I’ll be less stressed, because it’ll be just school I am stressed about. Not school and college. So, I am looking forward to that.

— Noreen Amponsah '24

Similarly, Jagtap claimed to be looking forward to the rest of the school year and suggested stressed seniors find positive distractions.
Because of their application experience before break, seniors have become better adapted to the college application process.
“At first, it took some time to complete supplementals and submit applications. But now that I’ve done my early applications, I can finish them faster, and I’m not as stressed about it as I was before,” said Katragadda.
With early applications ending right before winter break and regular decision application deadlines around the corner, seniors have a new outlook on the remaining half of their final year at EHS.
“I can go out with my friends, return to my hobbies, and take more time exploring new ones. I am excited to grow into my own in the rest of high school without the daunting question of where I’ll spend my college years,” said Kim.
Overall, whether they spent the holiday season coveting their potential future alma mater or writing countless supplementals for their dream school, the Class of 2024 approaches their graduation year with both anxiety and hope for the future.

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About the Contributors
ADITYA RAO '26, Staff Writer
Aditya Rao is one of the staff writers of The Eagle's Eye and is in his sophomore year. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends, being active, and binging Netflix. At EHS, Aditya is part of the STEM Academy and enjoys participating in various clubs like MUN, Math Team, and Science Bowl.
ISHANI BAKSHI '26, News Editor
Ishani has been writing for the Eagle's Eye since the start of her freshman year. When she's not writing, she can be found debating in Model UN, reading, or baking.
SRESHTA MITTA ’26, Staff Illustrator
Sreshta Mitta has been a staff illustrator for the "Eagle's Eye" since her freshman year, displaying her love for art through her cover photos. When she is not illustrating, Sreshta is also a STEM academy student who is part of several clubs like BOTB, Fusion, and UNICEF. Outside of school, she loves singing, drawing, and tutoring.
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