Grace surprised me this month. I knew she planned to apply Early Action to a few of her top choice schools, but I also knew that she had a lot of extracurricular expectations with the school play. So I was not expecting to hear that she took the extra time to go ahead and just send out all 10 of her applications early. But that’s what she did, and she says it feels great. Read the full interview below, and catch up on Grace’s past interviews here.
Meet the Class gets updated each month from September to May. Each installment features an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.
Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar. Names may be changed to protect privacy.
GRACE ATTENDS A COMPREHENSIVE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN MASSACHUSETTS
Did you get your Fordham and Hofstra EA applications out? How does it feel now that you've actually sent off some college applications?
I actually got all my applications out! I sat down at the computer on October 28th and looked at the EA ones and the RD ones and thought that I should just do all of them and take that stress off my plate. It took about 2 and ½ hours to check through all of them and hit submit. It did not feel real at first, but after a few days I kept saying to myself: I am so glad I got this done! While other people were stressing until the bitter end, I was thankful that I no longer had to worry.
How's the play going? You had opening night on November 1st--how many performances will you do? What play is it?
The play was great! It was “A Funny Little Thing Called Love,” a 5 act series of vignettes about romance. It was performed over 3 nights and it was so much fun! The week of the play is known as “Hell Week.” We practice every day and are at the school until late at night. This was another reason that I submitted all my applications in one sitting a few days before the November 1st deadline. I knew that there was just too much going on and I had to remove some stress!
Would you mind giving a brief summary of your Common App essay? Or at least tell us which prompt you tackled?
I chose the prompt which asked you to explain one background, interest, or talent that was meaningful. I chose to write about the first time I went to see the Nutcracker when I was 4. I cried at intermission, because I thought it was over. My mother explained that there was more and I remember being mesmerized by it. When it was over, I turned to her and pointed to the stage and said: I am going to do that!! I started dance lessons a few months later and have been taking ballet, tap, jazz, and now pointe, ever since. I also wrote about how dance has led me to theater, which is a big part of my life. I felt my application would be incomplete without this information.
Do the schools you're applying to have a lot of supplemental writing prompts, or is it mainly the Big Essay you've had to do?
I took a 2 day workshop over the summer to help with writing the big essay, so a good portion of it was written when I started school. However, I still had to write 5 more supplemental (shorter) essays. Mainly, they were centered around “why our school?”
How do you prepare for essays like these? Do you have a pre-writing process or any kind of writing rituals?
While writing the supplemental essays, which I said were primarily: why did you pick this school, I outlined what I wanted to say before I started writing. I stayed away from things like: you have a great academic program or you are located in a big city. The schools already know where they are located and they already know they have great academics. I tried to connect with the schools on a more personal level. I wrote that I am from a small town that is not very diverse and I wanted the experience of being in a big city where I could meet and interact with people from many cultures. I also wrote about my experiences when I visited their campus and how I felt walking around on their campus. I feel that this allows them to see that I have really thought about what it would be like to go to school there and how I would fit in.
You're interested in both Science and The Arts. Do you find a lot of overlap in your activities and interests?
There really is not a lot of overlap, because they are so different. However, I have found that I am a more successful student when I have an outlet for my creative side.
You're looking at colleges in a particular area of the country, fairly close to home, which is common. Can you give a sense of why you've chosen to stay in that area?
I really wanted a big city and I really wanted New York, because of theater arts. However, I also know that I want to be close enough to home so that if I have a bad week or am sick, I can go home for a weekend or my parents can come visit. I still need that connection.
The monthly List check-up: as of last month, your list was
Fordham (Applied EA?)
Hofstra (Applied EA?)
Marymount Manhattan College
SUNY Stony Brook
Any changes to that?
Yes. A Stony Brook representative came to my school and while talking I learned that they eliminated Theater Arts as a major. Even though I would only take it as a minor (which is still available there), I was dismayed to hear that. My sense was that it could easily be a program they will fund less and less. I still applied to the school, but it is a factor I will take into consideration if I am accepted.
Thanks for reading! If you have college admissions questions for Grace, leave a comment or email me. There are lots of ways to get regular updates from Apply with Sanity: like me on Facebook and Twitter, get the monthly newsletter, or connect on LinkedIn.