The Common Application

by Eva Shimkus, Managing Editor
graphic by Emily Zhang

Staying relatively close to home, Julian Fu, previously known as Kurt, committed to UMass Amherst, where he will major in economics. 

He said a number of factors influenced his decision, such as its rural location and size. 

“I’m really excited to see the 30,000 people. As weird as that sounds, I could not enjoy crowds more,” he said. “It’ll be like the best home ever. Also, I heard the food on campus is great so that’s a real plus.”

A nature enthusiast, Fu said he is also looking forward to exploring the hiking trails in the bucolic area surrounding the campus.

Despite remaining on the waitlist for Emerson College and New York University, Fu said he is satisfied with his choice. 

“I didn’t get into one of my top schools but that doesn’t really matter. I still got into a great school,” he said. “I’m not gonna say it was for the best because I can’t–I will never be able to compare the two experiences and lingering on the option of what I missed out on doesn’t sound interesting at all.”

Though he is glad to never use the common application website again, Fu said that in general, he does not feel emotional about leaving for college. 

“I was never overly excited or underly excited. It kind of just felt like the next step,” he said. “Maybe next semester I apply to the Honors College so there’s a lot to think about.”

Dina Kats, previously known as Natalie, committed to Rutgers University. She said she will study theater design technology with a concentration in technical theater.

Kats said that part of her interest in Rutgers stemmed from its major specific opportunities.

“Most schools don’t let you be a technical director, but at Rutgers, by the time you graduate, you’re supposed to be the technical director of a show at least once or twice,” she said.

Although interested in Rutgers’ streamlined programs, Kats said when accepting their offer, she had to make compromises with her vision of an ideal college. 

“New Jersey isn’t my favorite place if I’m being completely honest,” she said. “[However,] it’s only an hour and a half by train or 45 minutes driving, so it’s not too bad, and if I want to get work in New York over the summer, it’s close by, so that gives me a good opportunity.”

Reflecting on her experiences at South, Kats said that she credits South’s theater opportunities to her success in the application process.

“I’m very fortunate for where I got to go to school and [our] theater program. I had a lot of preparation, and there was a lot that was helping me out,” she said.

Having finished her high school career and anticipating her days at Rutgers, Kats said that she is excited for the future.

“I don’t like this point where I’m just thinking about it all the time instead of actually going for it, because it’s very theoretical now,” she said. “I’m excited for when I’m actually able to start it instead of just waiting for it.”