After a generally crummy day, one of the few every school year, I get home. I woke up still tired, I had no homework done, I had three more college applications to send in today, with 3 supplemental essays. The common application may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the competitive colleges require that I send in an additional essay or two. I just finished one for Amherst College describing the diversity of my school. Too bad I can't include E2 on my list of hobbies. Imagine the admissions officer decides to check it out and see fisting and Live nude lesbians on the home page.

Anyway, I unwittingly say the wrong thing when I get home, making my mother very angry at my ingratitude for her help (sorry). I open up in Mac OS X and see this in my mailbox. It's from Columbia University in New York. I applied there Early Decision, and had my fingers crossed. "We usually don't reject, we defer to regular admission" the admissions officer told me.

Dear James:

The Committee on Admissions has reviewed your application to Columbia College under the Early Decision Program. I am sorry to inform you that our final decision is that we will not be able to offer you admission. I realize that this is disappointing news for you and your family, particularly in light of your strong interest in Columbia.

Over the past six years, the first-year applicant pool to Columbia has nearly doubled in size, making admissions intensely competitive for candidates seeking places in the Columbia College class of only 1005 students; this has resulted in an acceptance rate of just 13%. The Committee on Admissions carefully evaluates each candidate's credentials in the context of the applicant pool; because our decisions are the product of many hours of thorough assessment and review, we must emphasize that they are final and not subject to appeal.

I want you to know that our decision in no way reflects a lack of confidence in your ability to achieve success at a competitive college and throughout life. Our experience is that the vast majority of students who do not gain admission here go on to distinguish themselves at many fine colleges and universities all over the world.

Earlier this week, your official decision letter was mailed to the address we have on file with your application. This electronic message was sent simply as a follow-up to your official letter. Please note that we will be unable to respond to this electronic message. We appreciate the interest you have demonstrated in Columbia and wish you the best in your college career and future endeavors.

///Censored\\\\ (I don't think he'd be happy)
Executive Director
Undergraduate Admissions

Dang it.

How could they not defer? They rarely reject, except this was a new year, they made some changes. I called my classmate, who I felt was a shoe-in. Nope, she was pretty teary. And I.....I felt strange. I see my life as numerous forks in a road. I really wanted to go that way, but I'm stuck in a detour.

Oh, well. Stoicism really isn't my thing, but I still have the rest of my "triad." If I get into either Columbia, Brown University, or Union College, I'll be happy. If I get into only one, I'll see it as fate and take it.

Was I sad? Hmmmm...sorta. Did I feel insulted? Yes! "They don't know a good thing when they see it!" I loudly yelled at the letters. Ah, c'est la vie.

Oh, back to the anger, right. I feel sort of happy. See, the guidance counsellor really strongly reccomended early decision, even though I was torn between two colleges. In short, if I was accepted, I would be looking forlornly at the smaller, less competitive Union College upstate, away from the city. Tough choice. Now, not only do I have the choice, I can apply to the 8-year medical program, saving me the hassle of applying to medical schools.