The College Process: A Game of Chess

The College Process

The anxiety and stress of the senior class starts to dwindle at the end of December due to the generous amount of Early Decision deadlines that colleges have given out. Many of Waynflete’s seniors have taken advantage of Early Decision, a total of 85% compared to the 60% of previous and average years. Now, it’s all just a waiting game.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with parts of the college process, schools usually give three different options for applying: Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision. Early Decision is usually a deadline ranging from November 1, to December 1 and allows students to hear back from college by the end of December. Early Decision is also binding, meaning that if you apply, you are required to attend. Early Action has similar deadlines to Early Decision (November 1 to December 1), but if you get in, you have a choice as to whether or not you actually attend. Students usually apply Early Action to receive a decision early, but not have to make a commitment. Regular Decision is the most common method of application, and is usually due around January 1. These decisions are received by March or April and are not binding either. Students are required to make a final decision by May 1, if they haven’t been bound to an Early Decision school.

Through all this confusion of deadlines and non-binding vs. binding, there is also the stress of what schools to apply to and estimating the chances you have of getting in. It’s all a game to the colleges. Strategically, colleges have become SAT optional, hoping to raise their average SAT scores because only the above average scores will be sent, raising the overall average. Colleges have also started to offer fee waivers for applications. This is another strategic step to lower the acceptance rates at schools because if more people apply, they can reject more students, ultimately lowering their acceptance rates. For some reason, college acceptance is more of a game now where students have to make their moves strategically, like chess.

Students work hard to raise their SAT scores, get the best grades possible and be involved in as many activities and service opportunities as possible just because it will “look good for college.” Colleges on the other hand, are selective and choose students based on community service, diversity, sports, majors and other specific reasons in order to fill their school-specific quotas. This makes the college process less about having the baseline standards to get into the school and more of a game of chance. The college application season is stressful, but it seems that as years go by and application processes change, it develops into a game of strategy and chance, for both the students and the schools.

— Kiera Macwhinnie


As much as I wanted to procrastinate writing about the procrastination methods of the senior class, I avoided the stress and got it done as soon as I could. The idea of procrastination is a very humorous look at human nature and of our flaws. Procrastination is very common among the senior class currently and the excuses and reasons seem very convincing. So why do people procrastinate? It only exacerbates the stress. Its universally true that people put off the one thing that creates the stress. This may simply cause even more stress. The list of reasons why students procrastinate is endless, but the most common method is sleeping or watching netflix. For some, it may include playing Candy Crush or eating food while others prefer to stare at a wall. We all have different reasons why we procrastinate and the ways we do it.

— Chase Warner

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