The Common Application

by Sarah Feinberg, Features Editor
graphic by Emily Zhang
*names changed to protect students’ identities

After weeks of packing and practicing pieces for in-person auditions across the country, Zoe* completed over 16 auditions, each involving monologue, dance, interview and singing portions. With Baldwin Wallace, Pennsylvania State and Syracuse Universities as her top choices, Zoe said that she enjoyed learning about the schools through auditions.

“The energy of the room [was] a blessing. It’s nice to see people that I’ve only met on Zoom for the past two years in person at auditions,” she said. 

While theater programs release rejection letters over the next several months, acceptances aren’t sent until mid-March. Zoe said that although the waiting period can be discouraging, it’s important to maintain a strong mindset.

“It’s a mental game of not letting rejections get you,” she said. “It’s [about] not attaching your hard work, your personality or your talent to rejections and focusing on the schools that care about you.”

When balancing applications and school work becomes overwhelming, Zoe said that prioritizing is vital.

“There’s so much to do at this stage in the process, especially for [Bachelor of Fine Arts applicants], so think about what’s most important and take the time you need to be mentally okay.”

. . .

Evan* was accepted to the Art Institute of Chicago, Northeastern University, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute and was deferred from the University of Michigan. He said that he appreciates connecting with peers going through similar roller coasters of emotions.

“It’s nice to talk with my fellow seniors and know that they’re all going through the same thing,” he said. “In senior commons, there’s a rejection board where you can put up your rejections and give support to people who have gone through that as well. It’s nice to be in the same boat as others.”

After completing around 15 pieces for his portfolio, Evan said that he creates his best work by remaining true to his identity.

“I hit my stride in terms of what I wanted to express,” he said. “Don’t look at what anyone else is doing because you’re going to be the most creative if you follow your interests.”

As Evan approaches the end of his college application journey, he said that he’s excited to expand his creativity in a college setting.

“These schools have a lot more equipment and resources as well as like-minded people who want to major in this subject,” he said. “I’m excited to learn a lot of new things and push myself in that interest.”

. . .

Jared*, accepted to the University of Colorado Boulder, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and University of Massachusetts Amherst, deferred from the University of Michigan and rejected from Georgia Institute of Technology, will hear from Carnegie Mellon and Cornell Universities and Rochester Institute of Technology in April. Although rejections are discouraging, he said he is excited about his accepted schools’ offerings.

“Boulder has a beautiful campus. There’s hiking and skiing all year round, and the big mountains that you hear about are only an hour and a half away,” he said. “On top of that, their engineering program has a lot of research and development.”

After completing several college interviews, Jared said that it is important for students to stay genuine to themselves.

“Remember that you’re just having a conversation with another person so that they can get to know you better.”

As students receive their college admission decisions, Jared said that despite the stress that comes with the anticipation, maintaining a positive attitude is key to enjoying senior year.

“Try to stay relaxed,” he said. “We’ll all end up in a good spot no matter which way we go.”