<p>This is just a story about how the application process went for me. Some of you may say I'm scaring 2011 applicants unnecessarily, that I'm being a downer. Last year at this time, though, I would have wanted to know this information.</p>
<p>I was extremely confident going into March 10th. I got straight As in honors classes, was in the 99th percentile for my SSAT, played on all varsity sports teams, was skilled in the areas of both music and fashion design, and practically aced all of my interviews. Everyone I talked to said I was a strong candidate, that every school would accept me. I believed them, too. I sailed through winter, feeling good about my applications and preparing myself for the tough decision I'd have to make once I was accepted to the schools of my choice. Sure, I needed a lot of financial aid, but I was the perfect applicant, right? Even if I didn't get into the schools with the lower acceptance rates, I still had other options.</p>
<p>March 10th came closer. Everyone at my school was very nervous, for the majority of us were applying to private highschools. I was repeatedly assured by my peers that I would get in everywhere, that I had nothing to worry about.</p>
<p>I applied to five schools. I was waitlisted at four.</p>
<p>I was shocked. My friends were shocked. Everyone assumed that just because I deserved to go to these schools, that I would get in. We were all ignorant of the fact that money is a deal breaker.</p>
<p>Think about it. Schools can't just give all the financial aid to a few kids. They need to spread it around, to make it more diverse.</p>
<p>Let's compare two kids at my school.
Student 1: Gets As and Bs, is on all varsity sports, is very talented musically.
Student 2: Gets Bs and Cs, is on all varsity sports, isn't very artsy.
They are equally charismatic.</p>
<p>You would think a school would choose Student 1 over Student 2, right?
Student 1 needs financial aid, though, while Student 2 is rich.
Student 1 gets waitlisted everywhere.
Student 2 gets in almost everywhere.
Student 1 and 2 applied to 3 schools in common.</p>
<p>You can argue that Student 1 could get better grades or something, but why accept Student 2 over Student 1?</p>
<p>Applying to highschools can be very emotional. I learned the hard way. Really, it sucks when your friends who are no better than you, or even less so, get into schools that you didn't get into because they're loaded. It sucks even more when you get in a fight with one of them over something completely unrelated, and they claim you're just jealous because you didn't get into as many schools.</p>
<p>You can tell your classmates that you didn't get in because of financial aid, but there are always those b!tchy girls that talk behind your back and say things like, "She's just using that as an excuse. She's really just too stupid to get in." People start to believe rumors like that, and they develop a sense of superiority. They use your dilemma as a way to make them feel better about themselves.
"Ha! So-and-so didn't get into This-and-that Academy, and I did! I guess I'm just better than her."</p>
<p>I can't help but think about how my life would be different if I had gotten into those others schools. I'm happy with the way things turned out, though. My best friend chose the school that I'm going to as well. I've already met some people that are going there, and they're all fun and nice. I keep thinking about how if I hadn't been waitlisted everywhere else, I wouldn't have formed relationships with these people.</p>
<p>So don't get me wrong, everything worked out in the end. I felt so much pain on March 10, though. I didn't find out about getting into my future high school until March 11, so I was really stressed. I checked my e-mail at school and had to come home because I started puking, I felt so awful. Once I had come home, I got some letters in the mail and started sobbing and puking all over again. It wasn't even the schools with low acceptance rates that made me feel that way. It was the schools that had high acceptance rates and low average SSAT scores. I felt doomed. I had switched from public to private school only a few years earlier, and almost everyone at the local public schools hated me because they thought I thought I was better than them. I dreaded going back there, and on March 10 it seemed very possible.</p>
<p>It didn't work out for everyone, though. Some people ended up having to go back to public school because they never got off any waitlists. In the aftermath of March 10, it felt like my grade was divided. There were the financial aid kids who had an actual reason to be stressed, but worked through it and continued to try their hardest in school, and then there were the rich kids who were so 'stressed' about whether to choose Andover or Exeter, they couldn't POSSIBLY take that French test. No joke. One girl literally used that excuse, and the teacher let her skip a test!</p>
<p>Moral of the story is, if you need financial aid, be aware that you may end up disappointed. Just work your hardest! You never know, things might come back to normal. We are coming out of the recession.
If you don't need financial aid and get in everywhere, don't be obnoxious and continuously whine about how your parents want you to go to Groton but you want to go to St. Paul's. Just be happy that you are fortunate enough to be wealthy and be accepted at so many schools.</p>
<p>My friends and I survived this by hosting surprise sleepovers for whoever was feeling bad. We got lots of candy and ice cream and watched cheesy chick flicks and the video of our winter play. We vented and laughed and went crazy and bothered the older brothers of whoever's house we were at. We burned our rejection letters and rejoiced at the fact that we had each other.</p>
<p>p.s. Did anyone actually read all of this?</p>