And they’re off: Class of 2022 college admissions


Credit: Nadya Chase

WHS class of 2022 commit to colleges, and share their experience regarding their admission process. “Just try your best, honestly,” senior Ali Baron said. “Getting rejected sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. You’ll find a place that will be great for you, even if it’s not your first choice.”

As the class of 2022 approaches the end of their high school journey, college acceptance and rejection letters trickle in and seniors are faced with the reality of committing to one college. While some WHS seniors are staying within Massachusetts, several others are excited to begin a new chapter of their lives away from their hometown.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, several students in the class of 2021 decided to take gap years, which has created even more competition. This, along with other difficulties in the application and touring process which were greatly changed by the pandemic, created a stressful environment for many WHS seniors during the college application period.

“The pandemic made it very difficult to schedule tours,” senior Julia Raymond said. “During the end of my junior year I would have liked to see some schools, however, many schools were not offering tours. This caused a huge mass of people trying to get tours in the fall. I would have to schedule tours way in advance if I wanted to go see a school.”

Another aspect of applying to colleges after the pandemic is that most colleges decided to make submitting standardized test scores, like SATs and ACTs, optional. This drastically increased the number of applicants applying to certain colleges, as submitting test scores got in the way of several students’ abilities to get into more prestigious colleges.

“Because of the pandemic, more than 90% of schools went test optional, which caused people to apply to schools they otherwise would not have been able to apply to,” Raymond said. “I applied early decision at Villanova and got rejected, but I found out later there were more than 40,000 early applicants.”

For senior Ali Baron, the most difficult part of the process was dealing with all of the rejections she received. However, she persevered through the rejections and committed to American University in Washington, D.C. as a criminology and psychology major.

“It was pretty frustrating and I thought I would never get in anywhere,” Baron said. “I kind of got used to it after a while because every single college letter I got back, I just kept getting rejected over and over again. There was nothing lifting me up so I just had to get through it and I knew that I would find a place that somehow fit with me. Getting rejected sucks, but it’s not the end of the world.”

Many seniors who did not get into their top choice schools learned to accept their rejections and focus on the schools they were accepted into. Some students who committed to a college had never even toured that college initially.

“Out of every place that I got into, I knew that [American] was the best fit for me because I really want to work in the FBI, so being in D.C. has a lot more opportunities than any other place would,” Baron said. “I think it’s going to be very good for me.”

In the fall, Raymond will be attending the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts as a possible political science and business major. Although she is going to miss her friends from WHS, she believes that meeting new people and getting a fresh start will be an exciting new chapter of her life.

“My favorite thing about Holy Cross is definitely the campus,” Raymond said. “The buildings have a Harry Potter feel, like the ivy growing on the brick, and I think this is really cool.”

Senior Sarah Liszewski will be attending CU Boulder in Boulder, Colorado as a biology major. She is most excited about the change in scenery and new environment that college will provide.

“[I am looking forward to] the campus, skiing, the views and just everything,” Liszewski said. “There’s a lot of opportunities [at CU Boulder] because there’s a lot of things to do there.”

An account on Instagram called “whs22college_decisions” posts the college commitments of the class of 2022 seniors who would like their college decision and potential major and sport to be posted. While some seniors decide to not post their college commitments, the majority of seniors enjoy being able to share their future plans with their classmates. The account is also a way for many seniors to efficiently figure out which schools their classmates will be attending.

“I love [the account],” Baron said. “I think people get a lot of support when they post there. I think it’s a nice thing to do, and everyone congratulates you.”

Senior Ryan MacDonald will be attending Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana as an integrated business and engineering major. As the college application process is a stressful time period for most students, many seniors believe it is important to not take rejections personally.

“Don’t beat yourself up too much [if you are rejected from a school], because at the end of the day, it’s way more random than you think it is,” MacDonald said. “A lot of these schools don’t actually know who you are, they’re just looking at [your application].”