UPDATED: Should I ED to Bowdoin or Brown?

UPDATED with more thoughts/info… T minus one month until the deadline for a binding Early Decision application and I don’t know where to apply.

About me:

  • I’ll be going into college with an undecided major, but I’m interested in trying many disciplines out for size (currently I’m considering environmental studies, education, neuroscience/technology in modern culture/other approaches to researching the impact of tech, something revolving around social justice).
  • I know I want to study abroad and I’m hoping to become fluent in Spanish.
  • I also love art and would like to go to a school where a) I’d have access to art classes and b) the arts are a core part of the curriculum/student life.
  • I’ve grown up in New England and recently decided to stay closer to home in the midst of all this craziness. However, I want college to be an adventure and not feel like more of the same just because I’m staying in the northeast. I’d probably be more seriously considering schools all around the country if it we’re for COVID and natural disasters.

The details:

  • I visited Bowdoin pre-COVID and LOVED it. Something about being there just felt right, and I could picture myself on campus as a student.
  • Both my parents went to Brown for undergrad. Until I started my college process, Brown was the only school on my mind. I’ve been to many reunions there, drove there this summer, and like the campus. But I haven’t taken the initiative to picture myself there.
  • In the months since visiting Bowdoin, I’ve toured more places (both irl and virtually) and finalized my list of schools.
  • For both schools, chance of acceptance is ~15% higher if one EDs. So, since I think I’d be happy at either, it makes sense to apply early.

My worries:

  • If I’m accepted ED and become locked into the school, I might question my decision. I guess this happens at any point in the college-deciding process, but it feels a little crazy to decide on a school in October of my senior year.
  • My memory of my wonderful experience at Bowdoin 7 months ago may not be an accurate reflection of how I’d experience the college as an actual student.
  • Bowdoin’s small student body may feel limiting. I go to a high school with 1,600 kids and some days feel like there’s not enough ppl and other days I’m shocked at how little I know the ppl around me.
  • What if I’m only considering Brown bc my parents went there? It seems like that’s the “expected path” for me (no pressure is coming from my parents, it more feels like my peers and other family friends). I’m not sure how to separate my own perceptions and wants from those of ppl around me. Am I just totally in my own head about this?
  • This might be true of both places, but I don’t want everyone to think the same. If a school and student body talks the talk of “we’re accepting of all views,” I’d like to see them practice healthy discourse and be okay with people thinking other things, not just use their motto of complete inclusivity to apply to white liberals. My dad told me of a Dean at Brown who said “50 yrs ago, our students all looked the same but thought differently. Now, they all look different but think the same.” I want difference in looks AND thinking.

My thoughts:

  • Brown is an Ivy. It also seems like a pretty dope school w/ cool students. And I could take classes at RISD.
  • Bowdoin is an amazing school.
  • When I toured Bowdoin, my gut feeling said “this is the place.”
  • I haven’t had the opportunity to tour Brown.
  • I don’t want to choose Brown because of its widely-known prestige, but I don’t want to take it off the table for the same reason either.
  • My parents have continually reminded me that I can transfer. That notion is keeping me sane(-ish).
  • Bowdoin is only undergrads. I could go to Brown for grad school.
  • After writing this whole thing, it seems like I’m pointing much more towards Bowdoin. But I still feel like I just don’t know. AHHHHHHHHHH!

The question:

  • Should I ED to Bowdoin or Brown?

Closing. Update your other thread which was just created today.