A Letter to the Class of 2021

by Felicity Acevedo



As college applications come to a close and Early Action and Early Decision letters start to come in, students are becoming increasingly stressed about their future. Will I get in? Will I get deferred? Will I get rejected? The answer to these questions determine the next four years of our lives, but we have to be mindful how we handle these decisions. It’s important to keep in mind that wherever we end up next fall, that school is the best fit for you.


Getting into your dream school is very exciting, but whether you get in or not won’t determine your happiness for the next years of your life. Cira Merlin, who graduated East Side last spring and is now a freshman at Fordham University said, “I took denials personally, but when I started to see how great Fordham was, I realized the beauty in the school. Finding the benefits I could gain from being at Fordham helped me come to terms with any denials I had from other colleges.” In other words, just because a school isn’t your first option in the beginning, doesn’t mean you won’t grow to love your school.


It all comes down to what YOU make of your time at college and the opportunities you’ll take advantage of.


Applying to schools and waiting for their response is by far one of the hardest parts of the college process, but we are almost there! Alianna Shaw, who graduated East Side in 2019 and is now a sophomore at University of Arizona said, “I’m so happy at my school and I think this is where I was meant to end up.” She goes on to say, “I’ve learned so much about myself just from my two years away at college.” Moreover, the college process may be one of the most stressful parts of high school, but in the end, it will be worth it.


Cira and Alianna were both seniors at East Side and are both extremely pleased with where they ended up. In just a few months, we will all be on our way to a new chapter of our lives.


The college process itself is one of the most stressful parts of senior year, but accepting the changes ahead of us can also be extremely difficult. The college you end up at next fall may not have been your first choice when applying, but once you’re there, it’ll start to feel like you were meant to be there. You’ll start to realize all of the opportunities you were looking for are still at arms reach. A few clubs and organizations later, and you’ve got yourself some lifelong buddies. Eventually the thought of you going to another college will be something you couldn’t imagine happening.


Accepting your “fate” doesn’t always mean sticking out the next four years at a college you’re not interested in. Transferring school is also a very reasonable and accessible option. Many colleges give students the opportunity to transfer easily in their freshman and sophomore year with a valid reason. It’s okay to give your dream school a second try if you believe you belong there, you know what’s best for you more than anyone does!


Whether you attend a CUNY, SUNY, private, or Ivy League, remember that you are capable of doing great things. The college we end up attending won’t decide our futures, we decide that. Cira Merlin said, “You shouldn’t take denials to heart. There is beauty in every school, it’s your job to make something of yourself while you’re there.” You have the power to do whatever and be whoever you want to be, don’t let a school determine your excellence. Every school has something to offer, what matters is what you make of those offers. You can do amazing things at any school so be proud of yourselves!



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