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Mental Health

Reflecting on Being a Prospective Student

Every once in a while I’ll pass a tour group when I’m walking around campus, usually by Massell or Chapels Field. I can feel their eyes on me as I walk by, their curiosity and their anxiety all too familiar to me. Every time I see a tour group I’m reminded of my own time as a prospective student. I remember the stress of not knowing what my future would look like. I remember the fear of being in a new, strange place surrounded by people who had already made their choice about their future. 

 

That “not knowing” sensation was what kept me up at night, before I applied to colleges. In high school, I knew what I had to look forward to for the next year. I went to a small school where I knew all of my classmates and all of the teachers. So when it came time to choose what the next part of my life would look like, naturally, I was a little terrified. My family and I toured campus after campus, some blending together, and others sticking out for either the right or wrong reasons. 

 

Brandeis was at the top of my list. My mom knew that, and tried to convince me to apply Early Decision. Normally, I’m great at being decisive and not over-thinking my choices. But this was by far the biggest decision of my life I had ever made. Applying early decision meant I was choosing what my future was going to look like before I was even accepted. It was scary! 

 

What if I change my mind, I thought. But my mom asked me this: “Are there any other schools you want to go to as much as you want to go to Brandeis?” And the answer was “no.” So it was decided; I applied ED II to Brandeis in December of my senior year of high school, and I found out I was accepted a few days before my birthday the next month. 

 

So now, watching these tour groups walking around campus, I can empathize with how they’re feeling, all the uncertainty and the fear. I also understand that picking a college is a big decision, you have to think about it—a lot. I’m happy with my choice, and I’m also glad that I don’t have to go through that process again (at least for a while). I’m proud of myself for making it through that. I wish good luck to all the students thinking about their choices right now. Know that you’ll make it to the other side—you’ll be able to see your future more clearly and feel at ease knowing you’ve made the right decision. 

Lindsey is from a small town in upstate New York. She's currently a sophomore at Brandeis and is double majoring in english and creative writing with a minor in studio art. You can usually find her reading or watching marvel movies.
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