Taylor - Wake Forest University - Class of 2018

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Supplements I finished in just a few days were a thousand times better than supplements I spent more time on. Lesson learned: Over-editing is the death of good writing.

Since I love learning (everything), an academically rigorous, liberal arts college was really important to me. But I also love sports, so I wanted a college with good athletics teams. Most of all, I wanted to get out of rainy Washington state. I was drawn to the South.

Hometown: Vancouver, WA

High School: Public

GPA: 3.95 / 4.50 (weighted)

SAT: 1910

Major: Biology and Spanish

Goal: Prepare for medical school and study abroad

College

Status

Wake Forest UniversityAttending
Baylor UniversityAccepted
Duke UniversityDenied
Emory UniversityAccepted
Rice UniversityDenied
University of PortlandAccepted
University of WashingtonAccepted
Vanderbilt University (ED)Denied
Freshman Year Update

My AP credits put me in upper-division classes with sophomores and juniors, and I was worried I'd be the "stupid freshman." Before my first Spanish class, I thought I would vomit. But I was fine after the first day. AP classes actually do prepare you for the next level!

Sometimes I feel like I stand out here because I have a "Western accent" and dress more 90s grunge than Southern prep. But I really put myself out there to make friends, and it was worth it! The people are the best thing about college!

I especially adore my roommates, 30 unique and multidimensional girls who've made me realize that I should never judge anyone on first glance. I just wish I could go home more often. Luckily, technology makes home feel closer than it is.

A crush on Vandy

After researching colleges relentlessly online, I was sure Vanderbilt University was "the one." Just before early decisions were due, I visited Vanderbilt and fell in love. The campus and classes were amazing—so was Nashville! I could see myself walking through the quad in the fall, meeting friends and classmates for coffee, enjoying classes and being scholarly. Vandy was it.

The day my early decision was released from Vanderbilt, I got up at 6 a.m. and looked online first thing. Then I crawled into bed with my mom and cried. I reread that decision at least 15 times and truly couldn't believe it. My mom had even bought me a Vanderbilt gold-and-black hoodie that I would never have the chance to wear. All day long, I watched old movies and ate cookie dough in my pajamas.

What fits? Jeans or a Prada skirt?

The next day, I got up, brushed it off, and moved on. I finished my remaining applications, and waited ... and waited. After getting denied from Rice and Duke, my choices came down to Wake Forest and Emory. I was 90 percent sure I was going to Emory. I had looked into the school further and discovered what an amazing place it was academically. It had research opportunities, a fantastic premed program, and a prestigious reputation.

My dad and I booked plane tickets to visit both colleges. We stopped at Wake Forest first. I was determined not to get attached. I didn't want anything to conflict with my new love, Emory. But it was hard. The people were so friendly. The park-like campus was beautiful and the student population was very diverse. It had the liberal arts focus and the small discussion-based classes I wanted, as well as great athletic teams. In fact, the school spirit was contagious. Best of all, I felt welcome, comfortable, and at home.

Then I set foot on Emory's campus—and it wasn't for me. The students were smart, but not as friendly. The academics were impressive, but less interdisciplinary than at Wake. The campus, while beautiful and ornate, had a more formal, affluent vibe. Emory felt like a Prada skirt, and Wake Forest felt like a comfortable pair of jeans. I'm the kind of girl who wears her favorite pair of jeans every day. Standing in the center of Emory's quad, I turned to my dad and said, "I think I'm going to Wake." He said, "I think you are too."

My ups and downs

I hated telling my friends and family that I didn't get in to Vanderbilt, and saying "it's ok." At the time, it wasn't ok! Most of my classmates are going to University of Washington and staying close to home. So I also heard a lot of comments like, "Why the South?" and "I can't see you in the South" or "Where is that school?" That was hard to hear over and over again, and made me question myself.

The best part was visiting Wake Forest and falling in love with it, despite trying my hardest not to. Maybe I am a romantic, but I thought that was pretty special. Vanderbilt was just a high school crush who needed to break my heart so that I could find my fit. Wake Forest turned out to be my actual dream school.

What I learned

I was short on time for my Emory and Wake supplements, and I had to finish them in just a few days. But those supplements had voice and personality. They were a thousand times better than the supplements I spent more time on. Lesson learned: Over-editing is the death of good writing.

The money factor

My parents are paying for college.

My advice

The application process is really easy to follow as long as you take the first step. Visiting colleges is so important! If you can visit, pay attention to whether you can see yourself living in the community. And have faith that it will all work out the way it is meant to.

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