The Common Application

by Sarah Feinberg, Managing Editor
graphic by Emily Zhang

After receiving acceptances to Boston Conservatory, New York University, Roosevelt University and University of Miami, Victoria Rivard, previously known as Zoe, committed to Syracuse University. Syracuse’s strong musical theater program made it one of her top choice schools.

“In addition to their strong theater program, it’s a big school with lots of campus pride, sports, a really fun environment and a lot to do beyond the program. It’s a perfect combination of the type of school that I was looking for.”

Rivard said that she is glad that she started the application process early.

“I planned everything I needed to do, so I was really able to focus on putting my best self out there when I was auditioning,” she said. “Staying organized set myself up for a very successful audition season and the least amount of stress possible.”

To navigate post-graduation life, Rivard said that it is important to stay true to personal values and interests throughout the decision-making process.

“There are a lot of really, really good schools that I think some people forget about at South,” she said. “Looking at these programs without the bias of school reputation is very helpful in applications and making decisions in the end.”

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photo contributed by Victoria Rivard

Ryan Lee, previously known as Evan, committed to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Lee said that choosing between his top choices — Rochester Institute of Technology and RISD — was difficult but that visiting the schools in person was helpful to personally connect with the school.

“My choice was really determined by what stayed strong to what I’m interested in and what I want to learn,” he said. “It was a really welcoming environment, and they emphasized growing and learning as a person, not just in your main field.”

Lee said that his decision came down to the strength of the design program, as RISD’s programs would set him up best for success in industrial design.

“They give you the freedom to make projects tailored to who you are, and they have a lot of opportunities in terms of unique resources like company connections,” he said.

Lee said that he looks forward to the community and strong opportunities at RISD.

“I’m really excited about being with other talented, creative people, and hopefully befriending them,” he said. “I hope to do a lot of exciting creative projects and collaborative work with them by elevating each other and learning new perspectives and skills from meeting like-minded people in the field of design.”

photo contributed by Ryan Lee

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Previously known as Jared, Brian Gomez, committed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as a mechanical engineering major. He said that he was ultimately drawn to WPI’s flexible course offerings.

“I can move around and take the courses that interest me the most,” he said. “By minoring in aerospace engineering and environmental studies, I can experience different pieces of what works best for me.”

While he is disappointed he didn’t get accepted into his top school, Gomez said that he is glad that he applied to schools that aligned with his interests.

“Both RIT and WPI are huge sponsors and supporters of the robotics program I’m involved in,” he said. “Just doing the activities and taking the classes that really focused on my interests, and my intended major in college, really helped.”

Gomez said that he is looking forward to opportunities in college to delve deeper into his interests at a higher level. He said that it is possible to have a meaningful experience at any college.

“It’s the experiences you have in the internships, research, study abroad programs and jobs that really makes a difference.” he said. “Focus on what you would like to do in terms of your interests.”

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photo contributed by Brian Gomez