To prospective students anxiously awaiting next Friday, good luck. One year ago, I was in your shoes, and I still have a very vivid memory of my own Early Decision release day—Friday, December 11, 2015. In a (probably vain) attempt to placate some of that anxiety, here’s how my anxiety-filled day went, one year ago this week.

5:45 AM

The phone’s alarm clock rings, blissfully unaware of the momentous day it commences for its owner. Like every other day, I begin my morning routine of showering/breakfast/etc. as if it were any other day.

6:45 AM

I wait in the frigid December cold at the school bus stop. I certainly don’t miss riding the crowded school bus every day—I much prefer the 5-minute walk to Gilman Hall than the 5-minute walk to the bus stop.

7:15 AM

Arrive at my high school. I begin my day with Personal Economics, AP Stats, Gym, and AP Physics 2—courses that luckily didn’t require too much mental exertion. I find myself nervously glancing at the clock much more than is usual (or healthy, for that matter).

10:40 AM

Head to my absolutely most beloved (read: least favorite) class, AP English Lit. We have a in-class timed writing, unfortunately for me. It was one of the worse things I’ve written—I even forget the name of the protagonist of the book I wrote about (The Kite Runner) despite us discussing it in class each day for the two weeks prior. Sorry Amir! Not my best moment. Still, we were allowed to drop one of our portfolio of timed writings, so it ended up being fine.

11:30 AM

Finish my day out with AP Calculus, Lunch, and AP Physics C. Like the first section of the day, I only had mild amounts of work, and my teachers were more than considerate to their several anxious students.

2:30 PM

School is over, and I’m but 30 minutes away from finding out if my perfect-fit university accepted me. Still, that 30 minutes is largely filled with yet another school bus ride. In an attempt to make time accelerate, I listen to one of my favorite calming musical pieces: Pachelbel’s Canon. Apparently, it was so loud that my brother could hear my earbuds two rows in front of me, but I was too busy counting down the seconds to care.

2:57 PM

Though decisions were officially said to release at 3:00, I check the minute I get into my house. I click the link in the email, and…

admittance screen


Truth be told, I was somewhat confident in my chances. But seeing that screen, all those hues of blue, really drove home that everything I had worked for—all the late nights completing AP Chem lab reports, all the passage annotation for AP English Lang, even those seemingly purposeless group projects in 8th grade Language Arts—it had all paid off. I was now on my way to one of the top academic institutions in the country or indeed, the world.

There are few dates in my life thus far as meaningful as 12/11/15. I hope 12/16/16 will, a year from now, be just as meaningful for you.