So… if you’re reading this you already know I committed to Rutgers. And… sigh. I have mixed feelings. Which I will dissect in this highly personal and angsty post that I completely don’t fault you for not wanting to read. So consider yourself warned and read at your own risk. No flames, please.
Okay, let’s start with the obvious: why did I commit to Rutgers? Let’s break it down. (Because I am a fan of breaking stuff down.)
I applied to 5 reaches: Princeton, Brown, UPenn, Columbia, and Amherst College.
I got into 0 of them. (I got waitlisted at 3 of them - like that does me any good.)
I applied to 2 “possible” (aka match-type) schools: Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon.
I got waitlisted at JHU and accepted at CMU. (If you’re keeping a waitlist counter - I am - that’s 4 waitlists now.)
I applied to 4 “probable” schools (okay, so they were safeties, but at a different level than my actual safeties): University of Rochester, Northeastern, Brandeis, and William and Mary.
I got into all of them, which was expected. Out of this group, I was looking for some nice scholarship packages, which didn’t exactly happen. I actually got quite a good package from Northeastern, but I’ll get to that later.
I applied to 2 “lol if I don’t get into these schools I might as well forget about it all” safety schools: Rutgers and Pitt.
I got into both of them. I got a lotttt of money from both of them. One of them offered me a completely free education. (You can probably guess which.)
And I applied to 2 (okay, technically 4) 8-year med BS/MD programs: U of R REMS and UPitt Gap. (And Brown PLME and Rutgers/RWJMS - but I don’t count those, but you can if you’d like.)
I got interviews at all the ones that offered them (PLME had no interview) and was rejected to all but REMS, where I am currently waitlisted. (Waitlist counter up to 5.)
So let’s look at my non-waitlist options in order of how good they are: CMU, U of R, Brandeis, Northeastern, William and Mary, Pitt/Rutgers.
Let’s go through my thought process for declining each one, from easiest to say no to, to hardest.
William and Mary: No money = not worth it. Also still not sure why I applied…
Brandeis: Not enough money, especially when considering what I got from Rutgers.
Northeastern: Still not enough money when compared to RU.
U of R: As much as it pained me to do so (my love affair with Rochester is well-chronicled on my blog, read around for more on that), I couldn’t say yes to something that expensive.
CMU: The fact that it is an amazing school doesn’t make it any less expensive.
If you’re still following, that brings it down to UPitt and Rutgers. That was the only real decision I had to make in this entire process.
Why I didn’t choose Pitt:
Their honors college is not a real thing (it is not exclusive enough).
I have no connections at Pitt.
I don’t like the urban feel of the campus.
Even though I got money, it’s not exactly the same level as going to school for free.
It is 6 hours from home.
Why I chose Rutgers:
Honors College dorms are amazing (lol jk that wasn’t a legitimate reason why).
Honors College is a real honors college and has great advising.
Honors College puts me on a different level than most other premeds and so I don’t have to compete with as many kids.
Very close to home.
My classes will be very easy.
Honors College people will pull strings for me.
I will know more people (both students and others) there.
I have connections at labs across campus and my PI will pull strings for me like no other. (Shout out to Dr. Laskin, my favorite person at Rutgers!)
It is free.
In the end, it boiled down to the fact that Rutgers is frickin free and how the hell do you turn down a non-existent bill, and the fact that I have people willing to pull numerous strings for me, most importantly in labs and for publications.
Now, why am I still writhing with internal conflict and not changing my Instagram bio like every other high school senior on May 1st?
Cause Rutgers is still Rutgers. And if you’re from New Jersey, you know what I mean. I thought I would do better. I thought I would hold myself to a higher standard. I thought I would have more options. I thought it would be an easier choice. I thought a lot of things. And even though I technically did have options, the full ride really messed it all up (not that I’m complaining, I’m very grateful for the scholarship). Otherwise, I might have ended up at Pitt or CMU or Northeastern.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about Rutgers. (It’s huge, it’s neuro major is barely a neuro major and is over-saturated with premeds, I’m competing with every other smart Indian girl in the honors college, I have to take buses to travel within the campus, literally everyone goes to Rutgers, and more.)
But I also have to realize that the only school where I will find nothing wrong is U of R and that is a whole other can of worms that I will open in a few sentences. And so I will have to deal with Rutgers as it is. And it’ll take me a little bit to get okay with that. And to be proud to tell people I’m going to Rutgers without immediately following it up with “Honors College on a full ride.”
So that is that. That is why I committed to Rutgers. (There’s a heck of a lot more explaining about my thought process that I can do - that I will eventually do - and will post about. But for now, this is enough. If you have specific questions about why I did what I did or why I applied where I did or why I didn’t apply where I did, ask me, I’ll write about it.)
Now let’s open that can of worms I was talking about earlier. I’m on 5 waitlists. At the beginning of this all, I didn’t expect to be on any waitlists, I just thought they wouldn’t apply to me. Clearly, they do.
Just as a reminder, here are the places I was waitlisted at: UPenn, Columbia, Amherst, JHU, and REMS.
If I get off the waitlist for UPenn, I will go. (Most likely.) If I get off the waitlist for Columbia, I might go. (I probably will.) Too bad it’s literally impossible to get off of those waitlists.
Next: Amherst and JHU. If I get off the waitlist for Amherst… idk. That’s a decision that will be made based on finances. If I get off the waitlist for JHU… I don’t think I’ll go. I just didn’t like JHU and don’t think it’s worth whatever I’ll be paying there. But - there is also a very very very small chance I am getting off of either of their waitlists.
Lastly, REMS. My love for UR and REMS is well documented. This is a simple decision. REMS 100%. For those of you who know me personally, you know the 100 reasons why, and those that don’t me… well, take my word for it. And better yet, I would take REMS over any of my other waitlist options. Easily. And even better - REMS might actually be a possibility. Idk, let’s not raise any hopes, but let’s see. I’m feeling mildly hopeful.
But for now, for May 1st, for this deadline that all seniors hate and love at the same time, I am going to RU HC ‘22.
This post was very dry and angsty and teenager-y and I understand if you hate it. But I felt like I owed you guys some sort of update after I went silent through the very very stressful and anxiety-ridden month of April. This application season was eventful, to say the least, and to be completely frank and honest with you guys, I expected more from myself from this process. But such is life, and who knows what will happen, who knows where I will take myself.
I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason” and so I will not say that, but I’ll say my take on it: “you did all you could to control your future and sometimes it’s not enough, but at least you tried.” And that is my solace in this - that I did (almost) all that I could to give myself the best chance possible. No regrets, right?
But no more time to be depressed/stressed. Let’s get excitedddddddd!!!!! I’m finally graduating high schoooooool! I cannot wait for college :)
And as always, thanks for reading!